Sedation for Children

Is your child afraid to make a visit to the dentist? Or, are you, the parent, afraid of what that experience will bring?

In most cases, we at the Marconi Dental Group can do much to alleviate those fears. Our professionally trained Carmichael dentists and assistants are skilled at making children’s visits as joyful as possible, so they look forward to the next trip to the dentist’s office.

However, some children may have special needs or require a procedure that takes more time, perhaps an hour or even more. This may cause a high amount of stress, for both children and parents. Or, the child may be incapable of sitting still in the dental chair, making effective treatment nearly impossible.

In these circumstances, your child may benefit from sedation dentistry.

In sedation dentistry, a doctor will administer a sedative to your child, to help them calm down prior to treatment.

You may be wondering:

  • What type of sedatives are used?
  • Are they safe for my child?

Our Carmichael family dentists provide the answers.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide, known commonly as “laughing gas,” has been used in medicine for decades. It is colorless, with a slightly sweet odor, and it is used to provide a feeling of well-being in patients. Nitrous oxide can help put your child at ease so he or she can relax during treatment.

How does nitrous oxide work? A professional will place a mask over your child’s nose that administers a flow of nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen. As the gas takes effect, the child will become less anxious and fearful, making for a more comfortable procedure.

Nitrous oxide is a safe alternative for many children, but it won’t work for everyone. A child may refuse to keep the mask on, or the gas may make them nauseous. Or, the child may have trouble breathing through the nose, severely limiting the effects of the gas.

Oral Sedatives

An oral sedative will cause your child to feel sleepy, so that they are more relaxed during a procedure.

Oral sedatives are safe for most children; however, there are limits on what the child may eat or drink before taking one. Additionally, the child may need to remain in the office after treatment for observation. The child may not be able to walk properly for about an hour after taking the sedative, and the sedative may cause minor side effects like nausea or vomiting.

Other Types of Sedatives

Your child could also receive sedation through one of the following methods:

  • Suppository
  • Injection
  • Intravenous application (through a vein)

If a certain procedure requires that your child be unconscious, your dentist may recommend general anesthesia. This type of sedative places your child into a deep sleep, in which he or she is unable to move or feel pain.

General anesthesia may be recommended if your child will receive oral surgery or some other type of extensive dental work. However, there are risks. Your doctor can discuss these specifically with you and your child in person, to help you make an informed decision.

Contact Us

If you’re struggling with the thought of getting your child to the dentist, don’t worry: We can help!

Contact the Carmichael dental team at Marconi Dental Group today, and we’ll make sure your child gets the attention they need, while making their visit a pleasurable one.