Facts About Sedation in Pediatric Dentistry

Facts About Sedation in Pediatric Dentistry

Posted by Justin Le, D.D.S. on Jan 11 2022, 07:23 AM

The anxiety many children feel when it comes to getting dental treatments and procedures done can jeopardize their overall dental health. If your child is afraid of visiting the dentist, sedation may be the best option to ease their anxiety and help them relax during dental appointments.

At Dr. Gregory Zabek Advanced General and Cosmetic Dentistry in San Francisco, California, we provide specialized care and offer a range of sedation options for children.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses sedatives or calming drugs to alleviate the fear and anxiety patients may experience when undergoing dental treatments. Dentists also refer to it as sleep dentistry. 

Depending on the severity of the patient’s anxiety, the complexity of the procedures, and the patient’s age, the dentist may recommend different types of sedation.

Types of Dental Sedation for Children

For children, dental sedation options include: 

  • Nitrous Oxide

This sedative is inhaled through a mask placed over the child’s nose. The combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen helps calm your child and reduce their anxiety.

When the dental procedure is completed, your child is provided with pure oxygen to reverse the effects of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is also known as 'giggle gas' or 'laughing gas.'

  • Oral Sedatives

For this type of sedation, the dentist will use pills to help the child relax. Oral sedatives can have a minimal or moderate level of intensity. Small doses make the patient feel drowsy, while higher doses make the patient sleep.

  • Intravenous Sedation

This type of sedation is administered with the help of a needle into the child’s veins. The medication reaches the bloodstream and takes effect within a few seconds.

The main benefit of intravenous sedation is that the dentist can control the level of sedation throughout the procedure to ensure the patient is relaxed and calm.

How to Prepare Your Child for Dental Sedation?

If your child requires dental sedation, you should:

  • Talk to the dentist about your child’s medical history 
  • Make sure your child wears comfortable clothes to the appointment 
  • Not give your child solid food right before they are administered sedatives 
  • After the treatment is over, monitor your child
  • Encourage your child to drink water after the procedure to stay hydrated
  • After the treatment, give your child soft foods to eat to avoid any pain or discomfort 

To book an appointment with Dr. Gregory Zabek at Dr. Gregory Zabek Advanced General and Cosmetic Dentistry in San Francisco, California, call (415) 952-1146 or visit our office at 490 Post St Ste 404 San Francisco, CA 94102.

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