Most children enjoy the experience of going to the dentist and are capable of remaining calm throughout their appointments. However, some children have anxiety about seeing the dentist or getting dental work done. If your child has dental work scheduled and your dentist is considering sedating him or her, here is what you need to know.
What Sedation Methods Are Used?
There are four different types of sedation used in dentistry. Each child is different, so your child's dentist will evaluate him or her to determine which method is the best. The method the dentist uses generally depends on the age of your child, his or her anxiety levels, and the procedure that is being performed.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is typically given to children who have a mild fear of the dentist and who are scheduled for quick procedures. Your child will not be sedated during the procedure. The gas helps your child to relax so that he can remain calm.
If your child has a moderate fear of the dentist and requires a procedure that is a bit longer, moderate sedation, such as giving your child diazepam, is possible. As with nitrous oxide, your child will still be awake during the procedure, but he or she will be drowsy.
IV sedation differs from nitrous oxide and moderate sedatives in that your child will be asleep while he or she is in the dentist's chair. It is typically used for children who are very anxious or who are unable to cooperate with the dentist.
If your child has special needs or is very young and in need of extensive dental care, the dentist might rely on general anesthesia. Your child will be completely unconscious and unaware of the dentist's actions.
What Can You Do to Prepare Your Child?
Before the dentist's appointment, there are several things you need to ensure your child is ready for his or her trip to the dentist. One of the most important is to contact your child's dentist a few days before the scheduled procedure. The dentist might have last minute instructions that need to be followed to ensure the sedation occurs without issue.
For instance, the dentist might require your child to have a limited diet the day before and the day of the procedure. The dentist might also want you to avoid giving your child any medications that could potentially interact with the sedation methods.
You also need to make note of any breathing difficulties your child has experienced. The dentist will need to know so that he or she can make a judgment call about whether or not to proceed with the sedation.
For sedation dentistry, click on this link http://www.allaboutsmilesinc.com/ or do an online search.