Sedation Dentistry for Anxious Kids

Dental Anxiety for Kids

While many children remain unfazed by the excitement of a dental appointment, others may require a bit more assistance remaining calm and comfortable during their appointment. Above all else, we want to make sure your child is comfortable in our office. In some circumstances, sedation dentistry can help anxious patients relax throughout the duration of their procedure. Our pediatric dentist may recommend the use of sedation dentistry to calm a child who may be unable to sit comfortably through treatment due to either age or possible developmental reasons.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Although it sounds serious, sedation dentistry is nothing to fret over. Sedation dentistry is the use of a mild sedative (calming drugs) to manage special needs or anxiety while a child receives dental care. Sedation dentistry is a great option for patients with dental phobia as it can help them start and stay calm throughout their visit to the dentist office.

Dentists may recommend sedation for long, complex procedures and for patients who are especially young or nervous. Parents can help their children stay relaxed by being calm and encouraging throughout their dental appointment. For especially anxious children, consider bringing a “comfort” item — such as a favorite toy, stuffed animal, or “blankie”— for your child to hold during their procedure.

Types of Sedation

The type of sedation your child may need is dependent on the many factors including their age, medical history, and the type of procedure being done. Let’s take a look at the two most common types of sedation dentistry for kids.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, often called “laughing gas,” is a very safe, moderate sedation option that will help your child remain relaxed during their dental procedures. Your child’s dentist will give the sedation with the use of a “space mask,” which carries air (oxygen) mixed with the medication. Your child will be asked to breathe through the nose, not the mouth, and will sense a faint, sweet smell. Typically, this type of sedation will take effect in about 5 minutes. The mask will remain in place until the procedure is done. Your child will be awake during the entire procedure and may have a “happy” feeling. When the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for about 5 minutes to clear out any remnants of the sedation.

Oral Sedatives

If your child exhibits extreme nervousness prior to their appointments, oral sedation may be an option to help calm their nerves. Oral sedatives are typically ingested in pill form. This type of medicine will make your child a little drowsy and will keep them relaxed and calm before and during their procedure. This type of sedation usually has a delayed effect so it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for administering the medicine. Depending on the time of your child’s procedures, the dentist may also ask you to ensure they have had nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment.

The Best Spanish Fork Dentist for Anxious Kids

Searching for a Spanish Fork kids dentist for an anxious child? We know little teeth are a big deal! Contact us today or schedule an appointment online for your little one!

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