It is not uncommon for children to be nervous or anxious about dental visits, especially if these visits involve work outside the scope of the usual checkups and cleanings. At Westgrove Dental, we use sedation dentistry when needed to ensure our patients are relaxed and able to receive the treatment they need to restore their smiles to optimal health. We offer oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia for our patients.
Is sedation right for my child?
Sedation dentistry can be used for a variety of reasons. We use it for patients who have dental anxiety, who may have special needs or other reasons why sitting still for an extended period of time may be difficult, or when children require an extensive amount of treatment.
What is oral conscious sedation?
Oral conscious sedation is a step above nitrous oxide, but still allows your child to be awake during their procedure. Before we begin your child’s procedure, we will give your child the sedation medicine in either a liquid or pill form, whichever is easiest for your child. The medicine will make your child feel drowsy, but he or she will still be awake and able to respond to commands.
Why is general anesthesia used as a sedation method during dental procedures?
Sometimes, children require an extensive amount of work, may have special needs, or may just not be able to sit still long enough for our pediatric dentists to safely complete the procedure. In these cases, we may recommend sedation using general anesthesia.
This means we will put your child to sleep prior to starting the procedure. This allows us to perform the needed work in a safe environment. Your child won’t even know the procedure happened!
Our pediatric dental experts will discuss with you which sedation dentistry option we feel is best for your child prior to their procedure.
How do we prepare for our child’s appointment?
Notify our office of any changes to your child’s health or of any recent medical conditions. Issues such as fever, congestion, ear infection, etc should be reported. Inform our office of any over-the-counter, herbal, or prescribed medications your child currently takes, as well as any allergies or reactions to medications your child has. We recommend fasting, beginning with midnight the night before the procedure, to lessen the chance of your child experiencing nausea or vomiting during the sedation. We recommend dressing your child in loose, comfortable clothing. Please plan to remain in the office throughout your child’s procedure.
What should we expect after the procedure?
Your child will remain feeling drowsy for a period of time after the procedure. Please continue to monitor your child until the effects have completely worn off. If your child falls asleep once you have gotten home, be sure he or she is positioned comfortably and in a way that breathing won’t be impeded. A slight fever is common after sedation – a fever reducing over-the-counter medication can be given. Once your child is alert, allow your child to take small sips of clear liquids. When your child is ready to eat, be sure it is something soft (preferably liquid) and that can be digested easily.
Our office is always available to answer questions or address concerns. Our commitment is to the health, safety and comfort of our patients and we strive to provide the highest level of pediatric dental care.