Pediatric Dentistry Sedation
We may recommend sedation for your child’s safety and comfort during dental procedures. Sedation can help increase cooperation and reduce anxiety and/or discomfort associated with dental treatment.
Various medications can be used to sedate a child. The specific medication used will be selected based upon your child’s overall health, level of anxiety, and the dental treatment required.
Once the medications has been administered, it may take up to an hour before your child shows signs of sedation and is ready for dental treatment. Most children become relaxed and/or drowsy and may drift into a light sleep from which they can be aroused easily. This is why it is called conscious sedation. Conscious sedation is not general anaesthesia.
Unlike general anesthesia, sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive. Usually, children feel sleepy, happy and less apprehensive. However, some children may not experience relaxation, but an opposite reaction such as agitation or crying may occur. This type of response to the medication cannot be predicted. This type of “paradoxical” response sometimes may prevent us from completing the dental procedures. In any case, our staff will observe your child’s response to the medication and provide assistance as needed.
Please remember that you, as the parent/legal guardian, play a key role in your child’s dental care. Children will perceive a parent’s anxiety and this makes them more fearful. Children tolerate procedures best when their parents understand what to expect and prepare them for the experience. Please ask us about how much to tell your child. Very often, less information is best. Too much information may make your child more fearful.
If you have any questions about the sedation process, please ask. As you become more confident, so will your child.