Sedation Dentistry for Kids: Here’s What You Need to Know!

Often, children are anxious about undergoing dental treatments or procedures. However, keeping oral health in tip-top condition is vital. Dental anxieties are normal for kids, but it should never hold them back to get the necessary dental treatment. If these dental problems are left untreated, it can lead to further damage to their oral health, or it might even affect their overall health. 

However, if dental anxiety hinders a child on getting proper dental treatment, sedation can be an option in reducing their worries and fears.

boy on a dental chair

There are several levels of sedation that the dentist may offer depending on the child and the type of procedure a child will undergo. This includes:

  • Nitrous oxide. It is commonly known as laughing gas and is the lowest level of sedation. It is usually mixed with oxygen and is given through a small breathing mask. Once the mask is removed, the drug will leave their system and will return to normal. Nitrous oxide won’t put the child to sleep but it will help them relax and this type of sedation is non-invasive.
  • Mild sedation. It is usually induced using orally administered drugs. The child is awake and responds to verbal communication; however, their movement and coordination may be affected. Their respiratory and cardiovascular reflex is not affected, oxygen is no longer needed. 
  • Moderate sedation. This type of sedation makes the child drowsy, though they may not be able to speak coherently they usually respond to verbal communication. They are most likely to remain a bit sleepy after the procedure, and most of them can’t remember what happened during the procedure. This type of sedation can be reversed easily, and breathing or cardiovascular function is not affected.
  • Deep sedation. It is administered using intravenous drugs and makes the child unconscious or asleep. They may move a little and make sounds in response to repeated stimulation or any pain; however, they are still in a deep sleep. Recovery from this type of sedation usually takes a long time, and they can’t remember anything that has happened. 
  • General anesthesia. This type of sedation is the most in-depth option usually induced using intravenous drugs. The child is completely asleep and unable to respond to any stimulation, even pain. The child remains drowsy for a while and will not remember any of the procedure. An anesthetist will monitor the child during the procedure. The recovery period is a bit longer after the general anesthesia has been administered.

When is sedation necessary?

There are several reasons why sedation is needed for the child during a dental procedure. Sedation is necessary to alleviate pain and discomfort during dental treatment or procedure. Any of the mentioned types of sedation above is appropriate, depending on the type and duration of the procedure.

Sedation is suitable for children who are anxious when visiting the dentist. The level of sedation required will depend on the level of anxiety and the procedure. 

Sedation is required most of the time for children with behavioral disorders or other special needs. Dental treatment can be frightening for them and can affect their dental experience. 

Kiddie Cavity Care & Orthodontics is always ready to take action involving you and your child’s oral health. If you want to experience secure and more child-friendly Sedation Dentistry inWashington, D.C., contact us and book your appointment at 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, #453Washington, D.C. 20008.