Sedation dentistry allows patients to feel more comfortable during dental procedues, but is sedation a safe option for children?
No matter if it’s your first child or your third: you worry about every decision you make that affects your child, and your child’s dental health is no exception.
Imagine finding the right dentist who puts your kids at ease – and who even can give you tips for encouraging them to brush their teeth. But what if your child needs a dental procedure that potentially could cause discomfort? Is sedation dentistry safe for kids?
Getting children to a dentist may feel like "pulling teeth." If as an adult even you feel anxious about going to the dentist, you can understand the fear your child may experience finding out that they need a dental procedure.
Children and Sedation Dentistry
Barring specific health conditions, sedation dentistry is safe for most children, when properly monitored. It offers a beneficial way to ease children into proper dental health care and to reduce their fears of the dentist because it allows them the same relaxation that an adult can benefit from during long or complicated procedures.
Choosing sedation allows children to feel more comfortable during procedures, which, in turn, helps them develop a positive, lifelong view of dental health care.
5 Tips for Preparing Children for Sedated Dental Procedures
1. Preparation Starts with Your Understanding
You can help your child’s sedated dental procedure go smoothly by understanding all the dentist's pre-procedure instructions. These may include important restrictions on food and beverages prior to the appointment. Follow the instructions carefully; otherwise your child may be less comfortable during and after the procedure. If you are unclear on any of the instructions, ask your dentist for more information.
2. Help Your Child Understand What to Expect
Talk to your child about what they will experience at the dentist’s office. Often, the fear of the unknown is scarier than the actual procedure itself.
3. Bring a Comforting 'Touch of Home'
To help ease the distress of being in a new environment, bring along a favorite stuffed bear to help keep your child comfortable.
4. Dress Your Child Accordingly
Make sure your child wears comfortable clothing that’s loose enough to allow monitors to be attached during the procedure.
5. Being There for Your Child
Reassure your child that you will be waiting for them. If you are able to be in the room during the procedure, offer to hold their hand. But even if you can't be with them, just the thought of you ready to scoop them in a hug afterwards is sure to lift your child's spirits.
Your Child's Safety is Priority One
Your child’s safety is not just your first priority, but it’s also your dentist’s main concern. This means that your dentist will review your child's medical history and ask about previous procedures, allergies, and any current medication usage.
Your child will also be carefully monitored when any type of sedation is used. This includes their blood pressure, their heart rate, their blood oxygen level, and even their temperature is monitored while they are under sedation.
Your dentist may request the presence of two adults for the visit, depending on the type of procedure and sedation used. That way on the drive home, one adult can focus on driving while the other cares for the child in making them comfortable.