Sedation for Kids
Treehouse Children's Dentistry and you have something in common in that safety is the top priority for your kids. Dental sedatives are used for patients that have dental anxiety or are undergoing invasive dental surgeries, and they are even used on child patients. But are they safe?
In general, sedation is a very safe, fuss-free procedure provided you prepare and follow-up properly. There's a lot you can do to reduce the child's stress level before, during, and after the procedure. By communicating effectively with Meet the Doctors we can give your child exceptional treatment.
Types of Sedatives
The main types of sedation we use are intravenous sedation, nitrous oxide and oral sedation.
Intravenous sedation is delivered through a needle that is inserted into one of the patient's veins, usually on the back of the hand. This is typically done in a hospital setting with anesthesiologist, CRNA, and nurses present. We use nitrous oxide to put the child to sleep before inserting the needle and a tube is inserted to ensure proper breathing throughout the procedure. You will receive detailed instructions prior to your child's surgery appointment.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) helps children stay calm. We give the child a mask to wear that administers a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. After 5 minutes, the patient will relax and start to feel euphoric. When the procedure ends, we will give the patient clear oxygen to clear out any nitrous oxide that might remain.
The Sedation Procedure
Here's a brief overview of what to expect when your child receives sedation.
Children tolerate sedation and other dental procedures best when parents understand these well and prepare the child accordingly. First, make sure to restrict food and drink before sedation, otherwise, stomach contents could end up vomited and inhaled into the lungs. Dress the child in loose-fitting clothing, as that makes it easier for us to attach the monitors. You will also need to give us a full medical history for the child and tell us if they're receiving any over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, or supplements.
At the Office
Act calm and supportive to keep your child relaxed. Consider bringing along a favorite stuffed animal or toy. Holding the child's hand and talking or singing softly are other good ideas. If you have multiple children, avoid bringing others so you can devote your full attention to the one receiving treatment.
We want you to be present when the child awakens because they may feel confused, disoriented, or nauseous. Two adults should accompany the child on the way home, one driving and the other checking the child's breathing. The child cannot return to school or daycare after sedation, as the treatment has longer-lasting aftereffects such as nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and reduced physical coordination.
Only give the child soft foods for the first few hours after the procedure. Once the child's mouth is finished healing, they can continue caring for it normally by brushing and flossing daily. Contact us right away if the child experiences fever, vomiting, or severe pain or bleeding.
For more information, please contact our office at 256-712-4080.