Sedation for Pediatric Dental Patients
Dental Anxiety and Special Needs
Children who are very young or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the dentist to perform treatment may require some level of sedation. Sedation is also helpful for special needs children. There are many safe and effective drugs available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit.
Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.
Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. “Laughing gas” is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. The gas is administered through a breathing mask, which is placed over the child’s nose and has a calming effect if breathed appropriately. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating childrens’ dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken with normal breathing, and is quickly eliminated from the body. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. The effects wear off almost immediately.
Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.
There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. Dr. Wilkerson will determine if your child meets the criteria for a sedation and then prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child: Charleston Office Phone Number 304-345-0541.
Outpatient General Anesthesia
Deep sedation or Outpatient General Anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children who are unable, by either age or maturity level or medical conditions, to cooperate during dental treatment. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Dr. Wilkerson and our staff would have a consultation with your family prior to determining this type of treatment option.
Sedation dentistry is most helpful for:
- Children who require major treatment
- A very anxious child
- Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion)
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who are medically compromised or have special needs
Patient Reviews: Pediatric Sedation Dentistry
This Reviews section is in progress. Please visit the Patient Review form to leave a review about your Pediatric sedation dentistry experience with Children's Dentistry. We do offer Patient Testimonials for our overall practice, on video, and additional sources. Call our office if you would like more information: Charleston Office Phone Number 304-345-0541.
Our Latest Patient Testimonial
My daughter Hadley had a wonderful fist dentist experience at your facility!?she will be back for regular fillings and my youngest daughter will have her first check up in august!
- Hadley D
Our Latest Patient Testimonial
Dr. Wilkerson is very polite and professional. My little boy loved the gifts too!
- Elizabeth M.