Sedation Dentistry – A Safe Option for Anxious Kids

A lot of kids are anxious about going to the dentist. They may have had a bad experience in the past, they may be sensitive to the noises and odors at the dentist, or they may feel anxious for another reason. Regardless of why your child is struggling, sedation dentistry can help.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to using medications or anesthesia to help children and adults feel calmer and more relaxed while they are at the dentist. Typically, there are three main options with sedation dentistry:

  • Nitrous Oxide: This technique is so popular that many people don’t even realize it’s a form of sedation dentistry. Also called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is administered through a mask that delivers a gas your child inhales. After the appointment, the dentist turns down the nitrous oxide, lets your child inhale pure oxygen for a while, and then, the process is done. There are no lingering effects.
  • Oral Sedation: This form of sedation involves taking a pill. Usually, your child takes the pill at the dentist’s office, and it takes about 20 minutes to kick in. However, in some cases, you may get the pill from the pharmacy and your child may take it just before their appointment. The pill simply helps to reduce anxiety.
  • IV Sedation: With this type of sedation dentistry, your child receives calming medication intravenously, and this is ideal for long procedures as the dentist can add more medication as needed.

Signs Your Child Needs Sedation Dentistry

Wondering if sedation dentistry is right for your child? Well, almost all children should have nitrous oxide. It helps to make dental work go more easily for the child. Here are some signs that you may want to consider additional types of sedation:

  • Your child talks about their dental fears regularly
  • Your child doesn’t want to go to the dentist
  • Your child has ever run out of a dental office
  • Your child has trouble sitting still
  • Your child needs a lot of work or an extensive procedure such as wisdom tooth extraction
  • Your child has had a negative experience at another dentist
  • You think sedation dentistry is important for another reason

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

When you opt for sedation dentistry, you make the experience more comfortable for your child, and that can provide benefits for the rest of their lives. Many adults have deep-seated dental fears that stem from their childhoods, and in fact, they often avoid the dentist because of these fears. By helping your child to have positive, pain-free experiences early in life, you set them up for a positive relationship with dental work going into their adulthood.

Additionally, when very anxious children have access to sedation, they sit stiller, and they don’t wiggle as much through the process. As a result, the dentist has an easier time performing the work, helping to ensure that the process is done as artfully and professionally as possible.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, contact us today. At Nia Pediatrics, we provide safe options for all children, and we want to make dental work as comfortable as possible for anxious kids. We look forward to helping your family.

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