Sedation Dentistry and Kids: What Parents Need to Know

Sometimes going to the dentist is scary, especially for kids. After all, it can hurt when the dentist pokes and scrapes at your teeth when cleaning them. It used to be that you simply had to bite the bullet and get through the dentist visit as best you could. However, today there's an alternative. It's called sedation dentistry.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry allows patients who dislike dental procedures to have their teeth cleaned and worked on while they are asleep. Instead of using a local anesthetic, the patient is put into a light sleep using medication given before the procedure begins. Vital signs are monitored during the dental exam and the patient is awakened gently after the exam or procedure is over. With sedation dentistry, the patient doesn't even have any memory of the dental procedure.

Is sedation dentistry right for kids?

Sedation dentistry can help children cope with the anxiety commonly associated with dental check-ups and procedures. It can also be useful when a child tends to fidget a lot or has a large number of cavities or dental issues to deal with in one appointment.

Explaining sedation dentistry to your kids

The best way to explain sedation dentistry to your kids is to tell them that they will be going to sleep for a little while, and when they wake up, the dental exam will be over. If they've ever had to have surgery or be sedated for a medical procedure, you could equate it with that experience.

Side effects with sedation dentistry

There are few side effects associated with sedation dentistry. After the appointment, your child will be a little groggy. It's best to let them take a nap after the dental visit. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on your child for three to four hours following the appointment and not let them play unsupervised, especially outdoors. Giving them plenty of water or juice to drink will help to flush the sedative from their body. Sedation dentistry can take the fear and anxiety — and the accompanying tantrums — out of going to the dentist. Natural Horizons Wellness Centers offers sedation dentistry at our Fairfax location. Call us at (877) 292-1571 to schedule an appointment.

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