Is Children’s Sleep Dentistry Safe?
Yes, when performed by experienced pediatric dentists with a trained anesthesiologist on hand, full sedation dentistry is safe for kids. Your child’s comfort and safety are our top priorities at Keswick Kids Dental. This is why we perform a full review of your child’s medical history, current medications, allergies, and any other concerns prior to scheduling any sleep dental surgery.
How Does Sleep Dentistry Work?
Full sedation for children’s sleep dentistry works to keep your child calm, relaxed and asleep during their dental appointment and procedure. The sedation is administered through an IV (typically in their arm) that allows the dentist and anesthesiologist to give your child more medicine throughout the procedure as needed. With full sedation dentistry the patient has no memory or recollection of the procedure.
It is important to note that sedation does not control pain or discomfort. Once your child is sedated, an injection into the treatment area will keep your child pain-free during the dental procedure.
Is Sleep Dentistry a Good Option for My Child?
Children’s sleep dentistry is typically recommended when:
- Your child requires complex or multiple procedures.
- Your child requires a procedure that is long.
- Your child has significant anxiety about the surgery or being at the dentist.
- Your child is very young.
- Your child has special needs or finds it difficult to sit still.
- Your child has a strong gag reflex.
Preparing Your Child for Full Sleep Sedation
Our team, consisting of a pediatric dentist, anesthesiologist, and dental assistants will do everything within our abilities to make you and your child as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process.
During the initial consultation it is critical to inform our dentist of your child’s full medical history and any medications they are currently taking. We will also check your child’s vitals and weight. Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, our pediatric dentist may meet with you alone or with you and your child in order to explain the dental procedure in detail. If your child is not involved in this conversation it is best if you then explain in basic, non-threatening terms what your child should expect.
Our pediatric dentist will also give you a pre-op routine to follow, which includes fasting. It is important to follow the recommendations closely.
You should help your child dress in loose, comfortable clothing for the procedure and if age appropriate, encourage them to bring a comfort item (such as a blanket or stuffed animal) from home.
Depending on your child’s age and preference we may suggest that you stay with them until they are fully sedated. This helps keep both you and the child calm. If you have additional children, we highly recommend arranging alternate child care so that you can give your full attention to the dental procedure.
Once your child is sedated, we will monitor their vitals. This includes blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. This allows us to detect and address any abnormalities as soon as they may arise, keeping your child safe and relaxed.
Once the procedure is complete, we will invite the parent(s) back into the surgical room to be present for when their child wakes up after sedation. This creates a comforting environment and will keep them calm. It is typical for your child to feel dizzy, sleepy or nauseous as the sedation wears off. We typically recommend both the parent and child take the full day off from school and work to focus on recovery. Our dentist will provide recovery instructions, which includes how to keep the mouth clean, any pain or antibiotic medications, and other care guidelines.
Our Surgical and Recovery Facilities
Not only is Keswick Kids Dental built with kids in mind, we have also created a dedicated surgical suite with attached recovery room. This allows us to give patients our full attention and private surroundings when undergoing children’s sleep dentistry. The recovery time to fully wake up and be ready to go home can take an hour or two, which is why we have a comfortable space for patients and their parents to rest. Parents can even choose a gift from our prize room to take home for when their child is more recovered.
If you still have questions, please call us at 905-476-2800.
Healthychildren.org also has additional information on Anesthesia or Sedation for Your Child’s Dental Work.