Sedation is a procedure which is used for young and very nervous patients. This procedure is intended to use during long and more complex treatments in order to reduce discomfort and anxiety during the visit at the dentist office. It is a very safe procedure, which efficiently reduces the stress level for the child before, during and after the treatment. Comparing with general anesthesia, during the treatment with sedation your child will remain conscious and might become less active and drowsy. But after the procedure, the sedative will leave off quickly and the child will feel normal again.
Most Common Patients for Sedation
Sedation is used for several situations. Firstly, it is mostly used for very young patients which are unable to keep up with the procedures that require long and very high-precision. Moreover, sedation not only reduces the stress and discomfort level both for child and parents but also highly reduces the risk of injuries during the treatment. Secondly, sedation is used for patients with special needs. It helps to avoid spontaneous movements and to cooperate with the patient. All in all, sedation helps the patient to feel happier about the visit and more coped and relaxed. It is the best way to manage the anxiety.
Types of Sedation
There are different options that you will be able to choose from. Each of them has its own benefits. Your pediatric dentist will count estimated time for the procedure, review all the medical history records and recommend you the most suitable type of sedation. During conscious sedation, your child will be able to follow instructions, cooperate and communicate. Conscious sedation includes:
- Nitrous oxide – it is mostly known as laughing gas. It is particularly used for someone who has signs of anxiety and nervousness. Gas is delivered via mask, which is placed over child’s nose. He will be able to comfortably breathe through the nose in and out because it will be combined with oxygen. This type of sedation works very quickly by making the child feel euphoric and happy. Moreover, it is painless, fast and quickly wears off after the treatment. Before removing the mask completely, there will be regular oxygen flow for several minutes before removing the mask in order to make sure nitrous gas would be safely removed from child’s body. Prior appointment it is recommended to lessen the food intake because there is a slight chance for nausea to appear on rare occasions.
- Oral sedation – this type of sedation is used for someone who is unable to control their muscles for the extended period of time, who is very anxious and uncooperative. It can come in different forms of sedative it can be liquids, pills or tablets. This type of sedation will leave a patient feeling drowsy. The patient will need to be prepared before the procedure. It will take him to limit food and fluids and wear some comfy clothes. After the procedure, you need to be prepared to take care of the child for several hours after the treatment. What you need to know is that nausea is very common for this type of sedation.
- Intravenous (IV sedation) – it is one of the strongest types of sedation. On the other hand, children don’t really like it, because it is injected directly into the bloodstream. The effect is immediate and patients usually feel like they slept the entire procedure, or don’t even remember it. Moreover, after the treatment the patient will feel sleepy, so he will need a driver to take him home.
- Other forms– less common sedatives such as nasal spray or suppositories.
General anesthesia is usually not needed in dental work unless there is more complex treatment, surgery which takes longer. One of the reasons might be a lack of cooperation and no willingness to follow the instructions. General anesthesia takes more preparation before the treatment and more time to recover after it. In that way, conscious sedation is more favored when it is possible.
It is good to be informed and understand what is happening so you would know how to prepare your child for the sedation. You as a parent should restrict food and drinks before sedation because there is a high risk of vomiting, so it might be inhaled into lungs. Also, a good thing to do would be to dress the child in loose-fitting clothes, so it will be easier for assistants to attach the monitors. Moreover, you will have to provide doctors the full medical history and any used medications or supplements.
At the Office
It is very important to talk positively to the child about the procedure and to try to calm him down and keep him relaxed. It would be a good idea to bring stuffed animal or any other toy, so it would comfort the child even more. Try to avoid bringing other children to the appointment, so you would be able to give your full attention to the child receiving the treatment.
At Orange County Pediatric Dental Group we ask parents to wait till the child wakes up, so he wouldn’t be scared or confused. Moreover, it is a possibility for a child to feel nauseous. After sedation your child might feel sleepy, dizzy, nauseous or even lack coordination, so going back to school or daycare the same day might not be an option. Few days after the procedure it is wise to give your child soft foods only. When the mouth is healed your child will be able to continue the regular dental care as usual.
Dental sedation is a safe, comfortable and fuss-free procedure. Our specialists at Orange County Dental Group will provide your child with the best possible experience at our office. Call us to schedule your child’s appointment today: (714) 972-1359.