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Why Sedation Dentistry Is Sometimes Necessary for the Pediatric Patient
Sedation dentistry is commonly used to help people who have dental anxiety relax while they receive dental treatment.
The practice is safe and very common for adults. However, there are some parents who have doubts about sedating their children while they receive treatment.
Is sedation dentistry necessary for pediatric patients?
Dental pain or an oral infection can happen at any time. This means pediatric patients will likely have to undergo sedation dentistry at some point. Other dental procedures also require children to lie completely still. That can be difficult for them to do if they are scared of dental tools like drills. When this happens, the dentist may need to sedate the pediatric patient.
What are the different types of sedation used for children?
The different types of sedation used on children include:
- Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, this is a very safe and mild sedative that will help the child relax during dental procedures. Dentists administer the sedation with the use of a mask, which releases the nitrous oxide, mixed with oxygen, through the nose. The sedation usually takes effect in less than five minutes. The dentist will keep the mask on the child for the duration of the procedure. The child will be awake during the procedure. When the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and the child will breathe in pure oxygen for about five minutes to clear out any remaining nitrous oxide
- Oral sedatives: This is another option dentists use when a child is nervous. The sedative is taken orally or through the nose. The medication will make the child a little drowsy and keep them calm and relaxed during the procedure. Unlike nitrous oxide, which is administered a few minutes before the procedure, the oral sedative is administered at least 20 minutes before the procedure begins. Children who are to receive oral sedatives before a procedure should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure
- IV Sedation: This is another form of sedation that dentists use for pediatric patients. Instead of the sedative being administered nasally or orally, it is administered by inserting a needle through the child’s veins. One of the biggest advantages of this type of sedation is that the dentist can give the child more medication during longer procedures to keep them relaxed
What happens after the procedure is over?
After the procedure is over, the parent will be called into the room to be with their child as the medication wears off. The length of time it takes for the medication to wear off varies as some children take longer than others to become alert. The child will also be groggy or dizzy when they are discharged and should rest for the rest of the day.
Sedation dentistry is useful for dentists that are performing procedures on children. It helps the children relax during the procedure, which makes the entire process go smoother. If your child has to undergo a dental procedure and gets nervous about going to the dentist, look for a dentist who offers sedation dentistry for children.
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