For many reasons, going to the dentist has always been an activity that kids fear. It can be due to loud noises, the tools in their mouth, or even just the new experience and unknown factors. Regardless of what the fear is, sedation dentistry is one way to make sure your kids get the dental care they need without the nerves and fear that can cause them to avoid the dentist in the future.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses special medication to cause patients to relax during their dental procedures. You may also hear sedation dentistry referred to casually as “sleep dentistry“. This can give many people the wrong assumption of how this process works. In fact, you’ll still be awake during dental procedures, but are simply very relaxed.
What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?
Dentists can offer an array of sedation techniques. Each works well for specific types of patients. Understanding what these types of sedation are can help you to get a better grasp of what this type of dentistry is like.
- Oral Sedation – This type of sedation can range from minimal to moderate. In minimal cases, patients can take an oral elixir called Midazolam or Chloral Hydrate which induces a state of relaxation. On the moderate end, patients can be given a larger dosage, or the agents mentioned above can be combined with other medications such as hydroxyzine, meperidine, or nitrous oxide where they’re groggy during the procedure. However, the patient can be awakened with a gentle shake as they’re not fully unconscious during the procedure.
- Inhaled Minimal Sedation – This type of sedation works by the patient breathing in nitrous oxide. This is what most people call “laughing gas“. The whole point of this gas is that it allows the body to go into a relaxed state for a short period of time.
- IV Moderate Sedation -The hint is in its name; this type of sedation is given through an IV. This allows its effects to be almost instantaneous.
- Deep Sedation / General Anesthesia – This type of sedation works by the patient being given medications that will make them unconscious during the procedure and is usually reserved for invasive surgeries.
Who Can Have Sedation?
Sedation is extremely helpful for those who have a real fear of the dentist. It also benefits individuals who have low pain thresholds, can’t sit still, have bad gag reflexes, or need a large amount of dental work performed. Sedation dentistry is highly recommended for children who have extreme fear when it comes to the dentist’s office.
How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation is used as a normal aid in dental procedures throughout the country. Most dentists will administer nitrous oxide or pills to children as they’re the easiest form of sedation. Most dentists are authorized to administer this minimal sedation. Those patients who require moderate sedation will need to go to a specialized dental professional who has been certified by the Commission On Dental Accreditation Program (CODA) or The American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Anderson works jointly with, Dr. Patrick McCarty, a board certified anesthesiologist to provide Deep sedation/ General Anesthesia services in-office for some of her pediatric patients. If you’re concerned about sedation dentistry for your child, your dentist can recommend your best options.
Schedule a Consultation
Kids dentistry is a vital part of any healthy child’s life. While many dental professionals will take on patients of all ages, Sprout Kids Dentistry works exclusively with children to establish good dental habits and care. This makes our office for pediatric dentistry in Boston the perfect location for your child to learn to love going to the dentist. To get started, we invite you to schedule an appointment by calling or filling out our online form.