Sedation for Kids
We get it; kids rarely want to stay sitting for the length of an exam when the great outdoors is right on the other side of that window. Or maybe they’re uncomfortable with the sound a particular dental instrument makes. Whatever the reason, at Smile Kids! Pediatric Dentistry, we offer sedation as a safe, low-risk solution to helping your child feel as comfortable as possible.
What Is Conscious Sedation?
Conscious sedation is different from anesthesia. While general anesthesia makes a child unconscious, sedation has a much lower impact on their little bodies. Instead, it is intended only to help calm an anxious child or make it easier for them to sit through a long and complicated procedure.
Types of Sedation
There are three key types of conscious sedation: nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and intravenous sedation. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is the mildest and least invasive. This doesn’t typically put your child to sleep, but helps them feel more relaxed. Oral sedatives come in a variety of forms, such as pills or liquids, and can be stronger than nitrous oxide. Oral sedatives, like intravenous sedation, can often require you to prepare your child beforehand.
When Is Sedation Necessary?
There are three situations where sedation is commonly used. Very young children rarely have the patience to sit through longer exams. This is especially critical when the exam requires high-precision work that might cause injury if the child moves too much. Some children get very anxious about visits to us, even when they’re older. Sedation is a safe way for them to relax and feel calm and comfortable. Finally, some children with special needs can benefit from sedation as it reduces the risk of sudden and unexpected movements that might cause harm to the child or the dentist.
Is Sedation Safe for Children?
We treat every patient as if they are part of our family. Your child’s safety is extremely important to us, and we never administer even something as low-risk as nitrous oxide unless we feel it’s in the child’s absolute best interest. Sedation can drastically lower the risks to both the child and us of harm or injury by reducing the chances of any unexpected movement. While your child is sedated, we closely monitor heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, temperature, and other vitals to ensure their safety.
Preparing for Sedation
While not every sedation will require at-home prep, sometimes doing so helps make the experience that much easier for your child. We’ll inform you of any specific dietary restrictions beforehand. These restrictions must be followed closely as vomiting could occur otherwise. It also helps to dress your child in loose clothing.
Find Out More Today
At Smile Kids! Pediatric Dentistry it’s our job to make sure you feel confident and educated about any procedure your child undergoes, no matter how minor. Call us now at (276) 663-0065, and we can answer any questions you might have and present the best options to make sure your child’s smile never fades whether before, during, or after a check-up!