Dental sedation is more common in pediatric dentistry than most people think. It can be used to help small children, those with severe anxiety, or even those with disabilities still get access to essential oral care.
Even so, parents may be worried when a dentist suggests sedation for their child's next appointment.
However, you should know that sedation is nothing to worry about. Keep reading to understand how sedation works and why it’s perfectly safe.
The 4 Types of Sedation Used in Pediatric Dentistry
There are 4 options when it comes to dental options. Choosing the right one can depend on different factors, such as the type of procedure the child needs and their medical history.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each sedation type:
1. Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative the child inhales during the appointment. When they start breathing in the gas, they can become more relaxed, but they will remain awake.
The gas can also make them a bit more giggly, which is where the name "laughing gas" comes from.
When the procedure is over, the child will breathe in oxygen, and with every exhale, they will expel the nitrous oxide from their system. By the time they’re ready to leave, your child will no longer be under the effects of the sedative.
2. Oral Conscious Sedation
If the child needs stronger sedation, they can take some pills or a liquid before the procedure. Like laughing gas, it will not put them to sleep, though some children may become so relaxed that they doze off during their treatment.
Oral conscious sedation will take some time to wear off, so the child might need to be surprised for a few hours.
3. IV Sedation
IV sedation is used when the child needs more extensive dental work. The sedative is delivered intravenously, and the child is asleep during the procedure. However, they are not in such a deep sleep and can be woken up easily.
The child will need to rest for the rest of the day after IV sedation. The effects will take a few hours to fully wear off.
4. General Anesthesia
This is the type of sedation administered at the hospital when a child or even an adult needs to be completely unconscious to get treated. The child will be closely monitored after getting general anesthesia at the hospital for at least one night.
How Safe Are These Sedation Options?
Dental sedation is safe as long as it is given by a trained professional in a controlled setting. Ruston dentist, Dr. Patrick Stuckey, would be happy to explain how sedation works and help you choose the right type of oral sedation for your child.
We encourage you to schedule a sedation consultation at Patrick Stuckey, DDS online.
For more information, call us at (318) 255-8648 for a chat.