Sedation In Pediatric Dentistry

When it comes to matters of sedation, a growing number of individuals are advocating for the presence of sedation during many dental procedures. It can make procedures that are generally considered annoying, or occasionally even painful, much easier to stand. However, the question of sedation in pediatric dentistry procedures is still a hotly debated topic. There are several questions concerned parents tend to always ask before "putting their child under". This brief article will serve to answer several of those questions. Throughout the course of this article, you will learn if sedation is, in fact, safe for children, when sedation is used, what types of sedatives are used, and finally, whether or not local anesthetic is used.

Is Sedation Safe For Children?

The question of whether or not sedation is safe for children or not, ultimately comes to: yes, children are safe during sedation. Sedation usually comes in the form of nitrous oxide, or "laughing gas", but many other forms are also used that are safe for children, as well. The use of sedatives for children is just as safe as the use of sedatives for adults, although of course, the dosage used for children is markedly less. Remember that when your child is sedated they will be in a controlled environment, under the guidance of a dentist. The dentist has been trained for years to address any concerns that you may have; any additional information or questions should be directed towards the dentist performing the procedure.

When Is Sedation Used?

Sedation is used during procedures when a dentist deems it necessary. Sedation is often used when the child is put into a high stressed situation and cannot control his or her nerves. This may be due to an anxiety issue or simply due to the newness of an experience. In addition, a pediatric dentist may put his or her patient "under" if the procedure being performed is considered a delicate one, and the child may be assumed to wiggle around, shake or become anxious in general. This will serve to alleviate the fear of the child, who will not be cognizant during the operation, the dentist, who will more easily be able to perform delicate operations, and the parent, who may fear for his or her child's safety if the child is too jittery for the procedure.

What Kinds Of Sedation Are Used?

There are several primary forms of sedation that are used in pediatric dentistry. The first is nitrous oxide, or "laughing gas". It is a gas that a child breathes in through a mask, which will serve to alleviate his or her fears and become more docile or relaxed to the operation at hand. It is generally considered to dull the senses a bit.

Oral sedatives are generally given to children who are combative with the dentist or simply uncooperative. The oral sedative will generally calm their nerves or sometimes put them into a light sleep. There are several other forms of sedatives, as well, although their use is less common. Intravenous sedatives, anal suppositories and nasal sprays have all been used as sedatives for children who need them.

When Is General Anesthetic Used?

General anesthetic is frequently used in conjunction with sedatives. Although sedatives will lull the patient into a state of calm in which they may ignore the pain, it often times will not serve to alleviate pain longer than the six or so hours in which sedatives are the most potent. In short, a general anesthetic can be used during any procedure in which a sedative is required.

In short, sedatives are quite safe for your child during any dental procedure. Click here for more info and consult with your dentist before he or she applies the sedatives to find out more facts about the phenomenon and remember: your dentist is a pro!