Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?

If your child feels anxious about their next dental appointment, inform them about sedation dentistry. Tell them that it is perfectly normal to feel anxious and that even adults do, but there is nothing to fear with sedation dentistry.

Some dental procedures require that your child remain still until the procedure is complete. Sometimes the drilling noises can be scary to the child. Our goal at Back Mountain Dental is to provide the safest and most painless treatment for your child. Read along to learn how safe anesthesia and sedation are for your child.

Safety of Sedation for Children

Since children still have delicate bodies and immune systems that can react to strong medications like sedatives, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidelines for sedation procedures involving children

The guidelines state that when issuing anesthesia and sleep dentistry to children, there must be at least two specialists trained in advanced life support measures in case of any problems. One of the people should be the dentist or surgeon performing the procedure and an independent observer. Also, the observer must be a trained anesthesiologist, a registered nurse, or a colleague oral surgeon.

The safety of sedation dentistry in Shavertown, PA, depends on your child’s overall health. This procedure is entirely safe, but those with underlying health conditions may be at risk. Therefore, the dentist needs the patient’s comprehensive medical history before administering sedation to guarantee the child’s safety

Sedation Options for Children

Here are the sedation options we consider during sedation dentistry for kids:
Nitrous Oxide
It’s a mild sedative and is considered the least invasive. It’s also popularly called the giggle or laughing gas. This gas is added to their breathers during sleep dentistry to remain calm but will not go to sleep. This reduces anxieties during the procedure in a few.

Most children get a little silly as the gas’s side effects, and they do not like the feeling. After the procedure, they are given pure oxygen to get rid of the remaining nitrogen oxide.

Mild Oral Sedation
This sedation is issued orally through pills and mainly for older children and adults. They are swallowed before the procedure and do not put the child to sleep. However, they remain calm and relaxed and can hear and do what the dentist asks them to do.

The child may not remember the events of the dental visits after the procedure. Thus, dentists safely give this medication before dental work because your child remains awake.

Moderate Sedation
Moderate sedation is also issued orally through one or a combination of medications that cause the child to feel drowsy and sleepy. Still, they can hear and what the dentist instructs. Usually, older children and young adults cope better with moderate sedation than young and fearful children.

During the procedure, the child breathes independently and can quickly wake up on prompt. Also, they will not remember the events of the dental visit, so it’s a safe sedation option during dental work on children.

Deep Sedation
Dentists use Intravenous (IV) sedation when the patient needs more profound level sedation. This sedation puts the child into sleep, but they are not wholly unconscious. The patient may move and make noises unconsciously. This sedation is administered through a needle inserted into a vein, mainly by the hand.

While it’s safe for children, some children may have breathing difficulties amid the procedure, so it’s advisabl always to have an extra qualified anesthesiologist to monitor the child’s pulse rate, hear rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen levels before they wake up. The anesthesiologist is also responsible for determining when the child will go home. The patient won’t remember much details about the procedure for this sedation option.

General Anesthesia
The child remains completely asleep for general anesthesia and does not feel any pain. For this reason, it must be administered in a hospital setting with medical professionals, including anesthesiologists and certified nurses, at bay. However, this sedation can also be administered in a dental office setting that’s well equipped, including an ambulatory surgical center (ASC).

After Sedation Instructions

You need to keep a close eye on your child after a procedure involving sedation to ensure they get back to their normal state. Some aftercare instructions include:

  • Monitoring their behaviors after the procedure
  • Issuing soft foods like warm soups, soft and mashed vegetables, or smoothies to prevent mouth discomforts
  • Encourage them to stay hydrated by taking lots of water
  • Use ice packs in case of any swelling