Exploring Oral Health Symptoms, Issues and Solutions

Sedation Techniques That Can Be Used for Children at the Dentist's

A visit to the dentist can be an unnerving experience for anyone and not just children. When your child has to make the visit, they might be experiencing some nervousness and anxiety over the whole procedure. This means that they may not relax enough to allow the dentist to perform his or her checks and procedures properly. Should this happen, dentists often recommend using sedation to help relieve the anxiety. There are various sedation techniques that can help your child during the experience.

Nitrous Oxide

This is also referred to as laughing gas. This technique is used when your child is only moderately anxious. The gas helps to ease their fear and they are able to relax for the procedure. A mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is passed on to your child by means of a special breathing mask. You should tell your child to breathe normally through their nose. You will notice that the gas has started working when the child gets less anxious and starts relaxing. Nitrous oxide is a safe option to use since it is expelled from the body quickly and the effects disappear fast. The dentist should administer oxygen immediately afterwards to help get rid of the nitrous oxide from the body. The gas does not have any side effects.

Oral Sedation

In case your child has higher levels of anxiety, then nitrous oxide may not be adequate or appropriate. In this case, there are various medicines that are administered orally that help achieve the relaxing effect. The dentist is at liberty to choose the sedative to give your child. This is based on:

  • The anxiety level of the child
  • The child's ability or willingness to cooperate
  • The treatment the child is in for

With regards to oral sedation, the dentist may issues some instructions on what you need to do. These can include:

  • Whether the child should eat or drink before the visit
  • What to expect during the procedure
  • What to look out for after the treatment

When nitrous oxide and oral sedatives are used, the child is conscious during the procedure. This means that you and the dentist can interact with them. They can also respond to commands. The oral sedative may make your child sleepy, but they can still be easily aroused. Sometime after sedation, you might need to carry your child from the facility. It might also be necessary for you to wait at the dentist's premises for a short while after treatment for the child's behaviour to be monitored.

If you have specific questions about dealing with dental anxiety, contact a dentist with a clinic like Moonah Dental Centre.