Is Sedation Dentistry Safe For Kids?

January 10, 2020

Sedation can play a crucial role in dentistry. But despite its many benefits, parents are usually weary whenever the pediatric dentist brings up the topic or recommends sedation for a child.

This short article goes over the topic of sedation dentistry for kids and how it works.

Why Does My Kid Need Sedation? 

Most people assume sedation is used to help kids who are afraid of the dentist. And while sedation is commonly used for anyone with dental anxiety, it’s not the only reason.

Sedation helps both kids and adults feel comfortable and relaxed during their appointment. It can be extremely beneficial for kids with: 

  • Severe dental anxiety
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Special needs
  • Extensive dental damage that requires equally extensive treatments.

Moreover, sedation may even be recommended if the child is very young and otherwise unable to sit still in the dentist’s chair or follow their instructions.

Types of Sedation Used

There are four types of dental sedation used for children:

  • Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is a mild sedative inhaled through a special mask during the procedure. It’s the most common one used, particularly for children.
  • Oral conscious sedation: special medication taken around 30–60 minutes before the child’s treatment. It has stronger sedation effects.
  • IV sedation: medications are delivered through an IV throughout the procedure. It’s also a strong sedative necessary for lengthy dental work.
  • General anesthesia is the only sedative that puts the patient to sleep. It’s administered in a clinical setting and is used for patients with severe anxiety or invasive dental work.

Steps We Take to Ensure Safety

Sedation dentistry is perfectly safe when administered by a trained professional in a controlled setting.

At Sky Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Michael Park takes extra precautions when it comes to administering sedation to children to ensure they have a perfectly safe experience. Here’s a quick overview of the process:

  • Sedation consultation: First, it’s important to make sure the child is a good candidate for sedation and which type. For this, Dr. Park will review their medical history and ask you about any medications, supplements, illnesses, or other relevant things about your child.
  • Preparation: Then, Dr. Park will walk you through the sedation process and help you understand what to expect. This includes any aftercare instructions and how your child will feel during their treatment. 
  • Aftercare: Once the dental work is done, Dr. Park will provide you with some additional tips on how to care for your child after sedation. If they receive laughing gas, then they’ll be completely awake right after, but other types of sedation need a bit more follow-up care.

Learn About Your Child’s Sedation Options

Your child can have anxiety-free and comfortable oral care and develop beautiful smiles. Bring them in to meet Dr. Michael Park and find out which type of dental sedation works best for them!

Request an appointment at Sky Pediatric Dentistry online or call our office at (310) 901-2300 to learn more about our pediatric services.

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Pediatric Dentistry

We offer a pediatric dental experience that is unique to your child’s needs. No matter the health of their teeth, we are your partner in achieving wellness and a confident smile!
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