Is Pediatric Dental Sedation Safe?

Is Pediatric Dental Sedation Safe?

August 1, 2022

Dental anxiety affects approximately 30 percent of the US population, and children are not an exception to this rule. If your child has a dental procedure, whether minor or significant, they will likely express anxiousness when moving for their scheduled appointment. That is unless the pediatric dentist treating the child has recommended dental sedation to help your child relax before their dental work.

When pediatric dentists recommend sedation for your child, you will wonder whether it is safe, what you must do to prepare them for their treatment, and how you must help them during their recovery.

This article takes you through pediatric dental sedation for children and how to prepare to help your child before and after their dental visit.

How Safe Is Anesthesia or Sedation in Dental Procedures for Children?

The safety of anesthesia or sedation in dental processes for children remains undisputed. Sedation helps calm your child’s anxiety, and anesthesia ensures they don’t feel any pain when undergoing the treatment and for a couple of hours after it. However, dentists don’t offer deep sedation to children to ensure they are awake during their treatment and responding to queries by the dentist.

Children who receive oral sedation in pediatric dentistry remain calm and composed in the dentist’s chair without wiggling around to permit the dentist to complete more work in one appointment than requiring multiple selections. As a result, your child will likely feel they spent a few minutes in the dentist’s chair even when the dentist may have taken an hour to complete the procedure.

Your child will need assistance when driving home and require you to help them with some activities because the sedation makes them tired and unable to perform some tasks. Besides the above dental sedation is unlikely to cause any side effects because the provider monitors them carefully during and after their treatment.

Types of Sedation and Anesthesia Used on Children

Sedation dentistry varies from mild to profound, but children often receive mild dental sedation to calm their nerves and make them comfortable. In addition, dentists can administer different sedative options in their practice safely. Some common types of dental sedation dentists provide include:

Oral Conscious Sedation

Your child might receive oral conscious sedation in pill or liquid form. The dentist requests you have your child take medicine or liquid an hour before your appointment to calm your child’s anxiety. Oral sedatives do not make children sleep but help them relax.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, alternatively called laughing gas, also helps ease your child’s nerves ensuring they do not fear needles. The gas is inhaled through a mask over the nose before starting the procedure. The gas effectively relaxes your child within a few minutes, and after completing the process, the dentist removes the mask after providing oxygen. Nitrous oxide dissipates quickly from the body to make your child lively and active within a few minutes.

Preparing Your Child for Dental Sedation

Before visiting the dentist for your child’s appointment, ensure that you prepare them for a visit.

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for the procedure.

  • Do not give your child solid foods before sedation.
  • Let your child wear loose-fitting clothing comfortable for their appointment.
  • Provide the dentist information about prescription or over-the-counter medications you give your child.
  • Take your child’s favorite toy to make them comfortable during their appointment.

After-Care After Dental Sedation

Your child will feel dizzy, nauseous, and euphoric after dental sedation. You might also notice a lack of physical coordination, typical side effects. Give your child time to rest and special care after dental treatment.

You can use the following tips to help your child manage discomfort without stress.

  • Monitor your child after their treatment.
  • Do not permit them to have crunchy and hard foods. Instead, provide them lukewarm soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and ice cream without nuts to prevent discomfort in the mouth.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.
  • Ice packs on the cheeks help alleviate swelling, which is expected after dental treatments.

Pediatric dentists safely administer dental sedation to children after inquiring into their health history and the procedure the child is undergoing. Dental sedation helps make children relaxed and comfortable during minor or intensive dental procedures permitting them to receive the treatments necessary to benefit their oral health.

Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics of Jackson safely administers dental sedation to children needing any dental procedures to calm them. If your child needs dental treatments, kindly schedule an appointment with this practice to provide your child with a positive pediatric dentistry experience.