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Is Dental Sedation Safe for Kids?

Looking up into the faces of 5 kiddos, boys and girls, huddled in a group on a sunny day

If you have a young child that needs to undergo a dental procedure, you might be worried about how that will affect them, but sedating a patient, even a child, is a very normal and safe procedure. Here, we’ll explain what kinds of sedation there are, what happens during sedation, and why it’s safe here at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

Types of Sedation

There are a number of American Dental Association-approved sedation methods:

  • Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild sedative that is inhaled through a mask. This won’t make your child “go under”, but instead makes them feel relaxed and a little silly. Soon after the mask is removed, the effects wear off.
  • Oral conscious sedation is a good option for children who have anxiety about being at the dentist’s office and is administered by a pill that they take before the appointment. Your child will remain conscious and relaxed throughout the procedure, but they won’t remember the procedure.
  • Finally, general anesthesia is the method used when your child needs oral surgery. With general anesthesia your child is put into a restful, deep sleep so that they won’t be awake during the procedure.

Sedation Process

Before your child’s appointment, we’ll determine which form of sedation is best for their unique situation. This will depend on their level of anxiety and the procedure they will be undergoing.

  • For any type of sedation, help your child feel more distracted, comfortable, and at ease by holding their hand, talking to them while the sedative is being administered, and bringing their favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy.
  • To prepare for oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia, we’ll let you know how close to the procedure your child can eat or drink so that they don’t feel sick when the sedative takes effect. Your child should also wear loose fitting clothing so that the dental technicians can easily attach any necessary monitors. After the procedure is over and the sedative wears off, your child may feel a little fuzzy, sleepy, dizzy, or even nauseous. These are all normal side effects, but it’s important that you keep an eye on your child to make sure they get ample rest and are feeling better after a few hours.

Safety Procedures

Throughout the entire sedation process and the procedure, your child will be monitored by our expert dental team. Their blood oxygen level, blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature are all closely monitored to ensure that they are stable and safe. Our dental professionals will take good care of your child while they’re sedated so you won’t have anything to worry about.

Your Child’s Safety Is Our Priority!

If you have any other questions about sedation during dental procedures, contact us today.

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