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Taking your child to the dentist can be daunting, particularly if there has been a previous unpleasant experience. Still, oral health is extremely important, and kids need regular dental checkups and when there are cavities to be filled or other dental issues to be addressed, the sooner the issue is handled, the better. For kids who have a hard in the dental chair sedation dentistry may be the answer.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

When patients have a difficult time relaxing while dental procedures are being performed, sedation may be used to calm them. There are several types of sedation that can be used to achieve this end. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas, has been used for over a century. It is a mild sedative and one of the most basic forms of sedation used with young children.

Another type of mild sedation uses oral medication. The patient takes the medication before the procedure begins. This is a sedation method in which the person is awake for the procedure but very relaxed. There may be no memory of the dental procedure after the medication wears off. Moderate sedation is very similar with the difference that the child may be sleepier. These types of sedation dentistry may be used on older children.

Recovery time is needed with these oral medications. Someone should stay with your child for a while after the procedure is completed until the medication has completely worn off. This is for safety reasons.

Sedation dentistry and the Young Child

If sedation is needed for a youngster, nitrous oxide is usually used. This odorless, colorless gas is administered as a mix with oxygen. The child breathes in the gas and relaxes during the dental procedure. When the procedure has been completed the nitrous oxide is turned off and the child’s system is flushed with oxygen.

There are rarely any side effects with nitrous oxide sedation. Once the system has been flushed with oxygen, the patient becomes fully conscious unlike other sedation methods where there a recovery time is required. This is one of the reasons why nitrous oxide is commonly used with younger children.

The dentist may recommend sedation for your child. If this is the case, feel free to ask questions. Safety is of paramount importance to you and your child’s dental team. You need to be assured of your child’s safety when sedation is going to be administered.

At Sair Dental your questions about sedation dentistry and your child are welcome. Contact us for your family’s dental needs. Keep all the smiles in your family healthy with regular dental exams.

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