Is Dental Sedation for A Child Safe?
Yes, oral sedation pediatric dentistry is a well established practice and proven to be a safe option for certain children, including a child that may be particularly fearful about seeing a dentist. Sedating a child for dental work is also sometimes necessary for children requiring complicated, invasive, or lengthy dental procedures. Oral sedation not only prevents your child from feeling any pain from the work being done in their mouth but it also helps to reduce the risk and stress level both during and after the dental treatment.
Types of Pediatric Dental Sedation
Our pediatric dentist that does sedation will ensure that you understand the available procedures. Depending on your child’s age, the type of dental procedure, and your input, the dentist can provide the following types of oral sedation pediatric dentistry:
1. Oral Sedation
Perhaps the simplest and least invasive pediatric sedation method is oral sedation, which is administered through the mouth or nose and typically begins working within 20 minutes. The child is not put to sleep but instead, remains awake, calm, and relaxed throughout the dental appointment. Our pediatric dentist that does sedation feels this is a good option for older children or when procedures require the child be able to follow simple instruction.
2. Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas Sedation)
Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas sedation, is a great way to keep your child calm and relaxed. The mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is delivered from a tube to a nasal hood that is placed over your child’s nose – all they need to do is breathe normally. Laughing gas sedation begins working within five minutes and patients often notice feeling its effects within 20 seconds.
Children often experience euphoric and happy feelings (hence the name laughing gas). Laughing gas sedation helps suppress physical sensations such as touch, hearing, and most importantly pain. Your child’s emotional sensations may also be inhibited, including their memory, which means they are unlikely to be able to remember the details of the dental procedure.
Yes, laughing gas is also a very safe when sedating a child for dental work. At our Keswick Kids Dental clinic, our pediatric dentist that does sedation uses a low nitrous oxide to oxygen ratio mixture. This allows us to accurately administer laughing gas throughout the procedure. One of the biggest benefits of laughing gas sedation is that we can adjust the level of sedation at any time during the dental procedure, as needed.
In this type of oral sedation pediatric dentistry, we administer pure oxygen through the mask at the end of the treatment to help clear out any remaining nitrous oxide from their system.
3. Pediatric Sleep Dentistry
Each full sleep dental procedure is supervised by a medical anesthesiologist and may be the best option for your toddler or child if the procedure is particularly demanding. For example, the dental procedure may require your child to lay completely still for an extended period of time or require the use of noisy dental tools that may be scary for the young child.
Full sleep dentistry involves intravenous (IV) medications that will put your child to sleep through the entire dental procedure. Our professional dental staff will carefully monitor your child’s vitals (blood oxygen level, blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate) throughout the entire dental procedure and until your child fully recovers. There are always two highly trained staff in the room who can provide advanced life support –the pediatric dentist and the medical anesthesiologist.
Upon waking up from dental sedation your child will need additional time to recover with the help of a registered nurse. This takes place in our dedicated pediatric surgical suite and adjacent recovery room. Typical symptoms may include dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, and loss of physical co-ordination. For this form of dental sedation for a child we highly recommend parents take the full day off from work in order to help their child fully recover comfortably.
Preparing for Dental Sedation for A Child
We want your child to have the best possible experience while at the dentist. Before sedating a child for dental work you should explain to your child what will happen, to help them understand the procedure. It is important to use words and concepts they will understand and not be fearful of (such as “taking a nap”). Help your child understand that it is okay to be scared but the staff at our Keswick Kids Dental clinic and the pediatric dentist that does sedation will do everything to keep them safe and comfortable.
Our pediatric dentist that does sedation will give you specific instructions prior to the sedation procedure such as fasting or restricting food and drink. It is important to follow these instructions closely to prevent nausea and vomiting. It is also very important to inform our staff of your child’s full medical history, as well as any prescriptions and medications your child may be taking.
Dressing your child in comfortable and loose-fitting clothing allows our staff to attach monitors easily but also ensures the patient will stay warm and relaxed during the procedure.
We also recommend your child bring along a comfort item from home such as a small toy, stuffed animal, or blanket. This can help distract and keep them calm. If there are siblings that require supervision, we highly recommend bringing a second parent/family member or arrange childcare during the dental appointment. This will allow you to give your child your undivided attention.
No Referral Required!
You do not need a referral for oral sedation pediatric dentistry at Keswick Kids Dental! This means you can contact our pediatric dentist that does sedation directly for these types of dental procedures. We offer direct insurance billing and affordable dental financing with interest free payment options for families paying out of pocket or services not covered by your insurance policy.
If you still have questions about sedating a child for dental work, please call us at 905-476-2800 or contact us online.
You can find more Information for Parents on this web page by the Society for Pediatric Sedation.