Kids start forming opinions about dental care the first time they step into a dentist’s office, but unfortunately, children’s experiences at the dentist aren’t always positive. In some cases, children are afraid of the unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells of a dental office; in other cases, they learn to be afraid of painful, invasive procedures. As a result, many children suffer from dental anxiety – and that can make visiting the dentist a traumatic experience.
That’s when sedation might be the best solution.
Related: How to help kids with dental anxiety
Sedation for Kids’ Dental Anxiety: The Basics
A good pediatric dentist’s primary concern is providing your child with safe, pain-free and trauma-free treatment.
First, parents need to know that there are strict guidelines in place for sedation dentistry for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its existing guidelines, and they’re exceptionally clear on safety protocols that pediatric dentists need to have in place before, during and after dental sedation.
Sedation Dentists Recommend for Kids With Dental Anxiety
When a pediatric dentist tells you that sedation is the best solution for your child, particularly if your child has dental anxiety, it’s definitely worth considering.
- Safe Sedation or General Anesthesia, which is delivered through inhalation instead of IV (so no scary needles!). This type of sedation puts the child to sleep during a dental procedure. The child will wake up with no memory of the procedure.
- In very few cases with children with dental anxiety, a doctor may recommend conscious sedation. The sedation choice is made on a case by case basis depending on the procedures that need to be done and how severe the child’s anxiety is.
We provide a dedicated anesthesia team and a dental team for each patient. Our dual team approach includes a residency trained MD or DDS Anesthesiologist and licensed Nurse, who regulate the anesthesia and overall patient condition, and a Pediatric Dentist and licensed Nurse, who complete the diagnosed dental treatment.
Should You Consider Sedation for Your Child?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes sedation as a safe, effective way to get your child the dental treatment he or she needs. We believe it’s a far superior alternative to methods like papoosing, which only serve to further traumatize kids. (If your child’s dentist suggests papoosing, we definitely recommend that you seek a second opinion from a children’s dental specialist.)
When your child needs extensive dental work, or if he or she already has dental anxiety, sedation dentistry may be the best option. That’s because it allows the dentist to complete the procedure without scaring your little one – and because your little one will only connect positive feelings with visiting the dentist, which can be a tremendous benefit for his or her long-term dental health.
Are You Considering Sedation for a Child With Dental Anxiety?
Our team includes residency-trained MD and DDS anesthesiologists who work closely with our pediatric dentists to ensure your child receives safe, effective treatment. We can make dental treatment a more positive experience for your child, so call us today to discuss your options.