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Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?

April 8, 2024
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children

Just as adults can find visits to the dentist stressful and anxiety-inducing, so can children. This situation is unfortunate since creating a solid foundation with the dentist early on is crucial for lifelong oral health. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both support the use of sedation dentistry when treating children. This makes trips to the dentist much easier, allowing young patients to feel comfortable, calm, and relaxed for the duration.

Here is everything you need to know about taking advantage of sedation dentistry for your child.   

When Is Sedation Used For Children? 

There are a few different situations in which sedation can be highly beneficial for children. For instance, patients who find it difficult to sit still for the entirety of a dental procedure could benefit from a mild form of sedation. It can also help those who have a bit of nerves or anxiety about the treatment. 

Children with special needs often find sedation helpful to remain calm and even prevent unintentional movements while being treated. 

In all, it provides a better overall experience whether the child is there for a dental filling, a pulpectomy, an extraction, or something else. 

Types of Dental Sedation

Different types of dental sedation can be used safely with pediatric patients. Which one the dentist will recommend will be based on the child and the procedure. Let’s take a closer look at the types. 

Nitrous Oxide

More commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled through a small mask that fits over the nose. It is a highly recommended sedation option that has very minimal risks. It is quick to take effect and quick to wear off. 

Many dentists find that it can be easily and effectively used in everything from routine cleanings to more complex treatments. 

Mild Oral Sedation

Mild oral sedation involves taking medication before a procedure. This will provide relaxation and a comfortable experience while the child remains conscious. The effects of this sedation will last for a few hours — sometimes even after the procedure is complete. 

Oral sedation is often used for more difficult, complex treatments. 

IV Sedation

IV sedation is rarely used in pediatric dentistry. However, if oral surgery is needed or multiple procedures are being lumped into one visit, it may be the most effective option. 

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Because of its effectiveness, there is no doubt that sedation dentistry has benefits for pediatric patients. A few of these include:

  • Helping patients overcome dental fears and phobias
  • Allowing for thorough, timely treatment
  • Providing a better quality treatment 
  • Giving special needs patients a chance at dental work in a manner they find comforting

Most importantly, sedation dentistry allows young patients to associate a visit to the dentist with a positive experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Sedation Dentistry 

What are the side effects of laughing gas? 

Although side effects are very rare if administered appropriately, the most common that may be experienced include nausea, shivering, fatigue, and dizziness.

Will my child remember the dental procedure if sedated? 

Whether or not your child will remember the dental procedure will depend greatly on how it personally impacted them and what type of sedation was used. Nitrous oxide and oral sedation both allow the child to remain conscious. However, sleeping during the procedure is not uncommon. 

Pediatric Dentistry at El Paso Family Dental

At El Paso Family Dental we provide pediatric dental services for children of all ages. These young patients are growing and developing and our services provide everything they need to ensure that they receive the utmost care. At times, that may include the use of sedation. 

To learn more about what we have to offer your family, contact us today at 915-585-2020. Or schedule your visit online. 

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El Paso Family Dental

965 N. Resler Dr., Suite #105
El Paso, TX 79912