By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer on Jan 29 2018
You’re not looking forward to next week because your child has a visit with the dentist. None of your kids have ever enjoyed their trips to the dentist, but your youngest is absolutely petrified.
You’re not sure where so many horror stories got lodged in such a young child’s mind, but they’re there and they’re hard to get out. You’ve done everything you can to make the pending visit sound fun and non-threatening, but you’re not sure it’s working.
On the big day, everything goes just about as wrong as it could. The dentist is great, but your child just won’t have any of it. The cleaning and general check-up just can’t be done. Now you’re worried about the state of your child’s teeth and what this is going to mean for their oral health moving forward…
But your dentist calls you into the office to discuss options. If your child won’t even sit in the big chair, how can a check-up be completed? The dentist explains that, in these extreme cases, they have very safe options for sedation that can allow them to clean and check your child’s teeth.
1. Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Commonly known as “laughing gas,” this mild form of sedation that is safe for kids of all ages.
A mask is fitted over your child’s nose, and as they inhale, they will breathe the gas and feel a sense of relaxation. Being relaxed, your child will feel a sense of well-being during the procedure and respond more positively to the experience.
Nitrous oxide also raised the pain threshold so your child will feel less discomfort during the procedure. This form of sedation is beneficial for kids with mild dental anxiety and is very safe.
Once the procedure is over, the gas is turned off. After a short time, your child will feel normal, with no lingering effects.
2. General Anesthesia
For kids who feel any dental procedure is too much, however, it is sometimes better to treat them while they are completely asleep. For these cases, general anesthesia for kids is used.
The utmost care is put into using general anesthesia on your children, and you have little to worry about.
A board-certified, experienced medical anesthesiologist will ensure the proper dosage is used and will continue to monitor your child throughout the entire procedure as your dentist works.
Your child will be unaware of their surroundings, allowing the dentist to complete the procedure.
Not all children require sedation for visits to the dentist. You and your dentist will determine whether it should be used. Factors to consider include the child’s age, how much treatment is needed, and how the child usually reacts to the dentist.
At all stages, regardless of which sedation method is selected, your child’s health and safety are always the primary concerns.