When taking your child to the dentist in Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Norco, Eastvale, Corona, and the surrounding communities, you may wonder if sedation dentistry is the best option for your child. There are a few things we would like you to know about this process to help you make the most informed decision.
Dental sedation is intended to reduce a child’s anxiety and discomfort when completing necessary dental treatment. In most cases, certain sedation techniques will cause a child to feel drowsy, but this desists following the completion of the procedure.
When is Sedation Used?
Sedation has become a standard contemporary practice in the specialty of pediatric dentistry and is used for various circumstances. Very young children (termed pre-cooperative) are often unable to keep still for long periods of time, making it difficult for a pediatric dentist to safely perform high-precision dental procedures. Sedation reduces stress and anxiety for both children and adults, and eliminates the risk of unintended injury due to uncooperative behavior.
Please remember that adults are able to cognitively process the rationale for sitting still and following the directions of the dental staff – children do not have the same abilities to understand the importance of sitting still and oftentimes even the most well-behaved child can become uncooperative in a dental setting. Additionally, some children struggle with acute situational anxiety during dental appointments.
Sedation helps many children relax, cope, and have a more positive experience during dental treatment. Finally, sedation is especially beneficial for children with special needs, as it helps to guide cooperative behavior and prevent unexpected, physical movement.
It is important to discuss your child’s personality, medical history, as well as their past dental and/or medical experiences with our pediatric dentists to help determine if sedation dentistry is the best choice for your child.
What are The Most Common Types of Sedation?
There are several kinds of sedation options available, and each one comes with its own set of risks and benefits. Our pediatric dentists will assess medical history, the anticipated duration of the procedure, and each child’s level of comfort before recommending a method of sedation.
The following modes of sedation are available in our office:
Nitrous oxide – Our pediatric dentists may recommend nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, for children who are exceptionally nervous. Nitrous oxide is delivered via a small mask that is placed over the child’s nose, and combined with oxygen – meaning that the child can comfortably breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. It is important to note that nitrous oxide does not put the child to sleep. The child is fully conscious and fully awake for the entire appointment.
Nitrous oxide has a quick onset and can produce temporary feelings of elation. It is painless to deliver and the sedative effects wear off within a matter of minutes. This is one of the major benefits of nitrous oxide as the child will not have any lingering sedative effects upon discharge from their appointment. On rare occasions, nitrous oxide may cause mild nausea. For this reason, our pediatric dentists recommend avoiding large meals (especially fatty or greasy foods) prior to the appointment.
Before removing the mask completely, the pediatric dental staff delivers pure oxygen at the end of the appointment to ensure all nitrous oxide is eliminated from the child’s body.
IV sedation – For those children who are very uncooperative, highly anxious, or have extensive dental treatment needs, our pediatric dentists may recommend IV sedation. If IV sedation is recommended, we will require parents to prepare the child before the appointment. Some common preparatory measures include: obtaining a current history and physical from the child’s pediatrician or regular physician, limiting food and drink prior to the appointment, and preparing to stay with the child after the appointment for several hours.
Certain medical conditions may not be suitable for in-office IV sedation and are better served in a hospital or surgical center – we will inform you if this is the case. Our office works with board-certified dental anesthesiologists who are highly trained in pediatric anesthesia to ensure that your child will receive expert and attentive care when getting their dental treatment completed. Our dental anesthesiologists will discuss the anesthesia procedure with you and go over any questions or concerns you may have.
Is Sedation Dentistry for Children Safe?
One of the biggest concerns for parents is whether pediatric sedation dentistry is safe. As with all medical procedures, there are always inherent risks, benefits and alternatives. Our office serving the communities of Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Corona, Norco, and Eastvale takes all of the necessary steps to ensure your child’s health and safety during every procedure. This is especially true in situations where we use sedation to put your child at ease.
Our goal is to always prioritize the comfort and safety of your child, while allowing us to perform necessary dental procedures without causing any undue psychological or emotional trauma. Children can be some of the most difficult dental patients due to their inability to sit still for a long period, their high levels of anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist, and their inability to fully rationalize the need for maintaining cooperative behavior during dental treatment. We take great pride in offering the compassionate, quality dental care they need in a safe and comfortable environment so every child can maintain an optimal level of oral health.
Pediatric Sedation Dentistry in Chino Hills
If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry for children in Chino Hills and the surrounding areas, please contact your pediatric dentist at Kids Dental Specialists today.