Commonly Asked Questions About Sedation
What if my child is afraid of dental treatment?
Your pediatric dentist has special training and experience to help you with this problem.
Regular dental visits help build your child’s confidence. If you wait until there is a dental emergency and bring your child for the first time it will be especially hard. Help your child find a dental home where he or she feels comfortable. Pediatric dental offices and staff make your child feel at home.
Treatment sequencing is the best tool to help your child through an unpleasant treatment. The pediatric dentist or hygienist does simple things first like cleaning and sealants. The parent is there to reassure the child. This prepares the child if more difficult treatments are needed afterward.
Sometimes the treatment needed is just too difficult for the child’s level of maturity. Your pediatric dentist can discuss other options with you in this case.
Is it safe to sedate my child for dental treatment?
When your child will not cooperate for needed dental treatment you must consider other options.
If you have a very young child that needs a very simple treatment then you may elect to restrain your child for a brief period.
Otherwise sedation and general anesthesia are your only options.
Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is the safest sedation method. Oral drugs have more risk.
General anesthesia is expensive and it carries the greatest risk. But even at this level of risk it is no greater than the risk you take daily by driving in your car.
Your pediatric dentist may use an in-office anesthesiologist. This keeps your costs down and provides an efficient low risk approach to this problem.