Some children may be overly anxious when visiting a pediatric dentist NJ and as a result may be unable to relax fully so they can receive essential treatment. Dental visits can also be a problem if a child needs an extensive amount of dental work to restore their oral health. For both these occasions, your pediatric dentist may suggest using some form of sedation dentistry. The most common is called conscious sedation and enables a child to become more relaxed, but they will still be able to respond to dental staff or parents or caregivers. Conscious sedation can be given in a number of different ways.
Nitrous Oxide in Sedation Dentistry
The most common form of conscious sedation is to use nitrous oxide. This is known as laughing gas and can be excellent for children who are mildly or moderately nervous or anxious. The gas is inhaled through a small, comfortable mask that fits over the nose and it generally takes effect extremely quickly. As it does so the child will begin to relax and will become less agitated. Nitrous oxide is very good because it is extremely mild and once the gas is turned off it is soon eliminated from the body. During treatment your child will still be conscious and will be able to interact with the pediatric dentist but they’ll feel much more comfortable.
This form of sedation dentistry is extremely safe although some very young children may feel uncomfortable wearing a mask. Sometimes the nitrous oxide can make a child feel nauseous which is why it’s often better to only give them a light meal or liquids for a few hours before their appointment. Treatment can also be unsuitable for a child who has difficulty breathing through their nose on the day of the appointment.
Oral Sedation for Your Child
Oral sedation can be ideal for children who need a little more help than can be provided with nitrous oxide. Oral sedatives are given by the mouth, either in the form of syrup or a pill. This type of sedation dentistry is deeper than nitrous oxide and a child may feel quite sleepy but can easily be awakened. Afterwards it’s likely they’ll be monitored for a while by their pediatric dentist before they can go home.
Other Types of Sedation Dentistry
Other types of sedation include intravenous sedation, where the sedative is administered through a vein, and general anesthesia. Sometimes it is necessary for a child to be unconscious during dental treatment. This might be the case where an extensive amount of work is needed and where it simply more comfortable for them to be completely unconscious. It’s a great way for a pediatric dentist to be able to complete more work during one visit or may be necessary if more specialized dental care is required, for example from an oral surgeon.
Sedation dentistry can be very useful for helping nervous children get the dental care they badly need. Once dental health is restored, a child should find it far easier just visiting a dentist for checkups and cleanings and hopefully will learn to overcome any fears.