Children and adolescents with dental cavities 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 or medically compromised children in order to treat their cavities safely. There are many safe and effective sedation treatment options available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment.
The following patients may be candidates for sedation during their visit.
- Children who require major treatment
- The very anxious child or adolescent
- Children that have had traumatic dental experiences
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who are medically compromised or who are special needs
Oral Conscious Sedation
Conscious sedation is an option for children who are older (three / four years or more) and are mildly apprehensive but still cooperative. This highly effective method is administered orally and used with inhalation nitrous oxide gas to increase the relaxation. This method does not put the child to sleep and thus the child will be awake for the procedure and must cooperate for their dental treatment to be competed safely. If your child is not cooperative with oral sedation it is recommended treatment be completed general anesthesia.
With oral sedation your child will need to take it easy and rest for the remainder of the day with responsible adult supervision. The child is not able to go to school the day of the procedure or participate in any activities for the remainder of the day as they may feel drowsy.
Deep sedation is sometimes necessary for children that are unable or unwilling to cooperate during dental treatment. Children can require general anesthesia for many reasons including, young age, uncooperative behavior, large number of dental cavities, medically compromising condition/special needs children or because oral sedation was not successful in the past. For this option the child will be put to sleep by a board certified anesthesiologist and our pediatric dentist will perform the dental treatment.
If general anesthesia has been used for the dental treatment, the child will need to take it easy and rest for the remainder of the day. The child is not able to go to school the day of the procedure and will need to be under adult supervision the remainder of the day.