If your child is particularly nervous about having work done at the dentist, or if she requires extensive treatment such as restorations or extractions, sedation dentistry can be a good option to keep her comfortable and anxiety-free. Your family dentist must be specially trained in pediatric sedation, so be sure to ask if sedation is a possibility for your child.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is an approach used to increase your comfort or the comfort of your child during dental procedures. Although local anesthetic can eliminate discomfort, your child might still be overly anxious about having a tooth drilled, crowned, or extracted. Sedation can help her be completely relaxed during the procedure.
For children, your family dentist will probably use oral sedation with a liquid medication rather than a pill. The medication is taken before the appointment, and your child’s vital signs are closely monitored throughout the procedure to ensure she is safe and comfortable. You might receive instructions from your dentist to limit your child’s food intake both before and after the procedure. Your child will probably be groggy after the appointment, so it’s important to be there to help her get reoriented.
Why Use Sedation with My Child?
Children are particularly susceptible to anxiety during dental work because they don’t necessarily understand what’s being done or why. It’s hard to explain to a child that they need to undergo some discomfort now to prevent larger problems later. Severe anxiety at the family dentist can cause severe dental anxiety in the future, so if your child seems overly anxious or is very young, sedation can be a better option than just using local anesthetic.
Pediatric sedation is different from adult sedation because the patient is smaller and less able to relate her condition to the dentist. Sedation for children requires special training and monitoring. Ask our team about how we can help at your next appointment!