Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Kids?

Many patients have some level of dental anxiety when it comes to routine care or specific appointments. Fear of the dentist is most common in children, especially those who have had negative experiences in the chair before. Sedation dentistry in Mt. Airy, MD, could help your child overcome their anxiety and get the care they need. There are a few different types of sedation methods available for children. Before starting treatment, your dentist will consult with you, your child, and potentially your child’s medical doctor to determine which method is best.

Sedation Dentistry in Mt Airy MD could help your child get the treatment they need

Types of Sedation Dentistry in Mt. Airy, MD

There are three main types of sedation dentistry. Each comes with its own benefits and potential risks. When administered by a trained and certified dentist or anesthesiologist, most sedation methods are safe for young children.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is a method that can be helpful for patients who have a moderate level of dental anxiety. If your child gets nervous or scared prior to even arriving at the office, oral conscious sedation may be the best option. With this method, your dentist will prescribe your child a pill to take that will help them relax before their appointment. Your dentist will need to examine your child’s medical history and be aware of any other medications they take to ensure the prescribed sedation is safe and effective.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is approved by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for use with children. When breathing in the gas, children can experience a calming, almost lucid effect. Some patients even fall asleep during treatment. Nitrous oxide tends to be more gentle for children compared to oral conscious sedation. It typically wears off more quickly and generally has fewer potential side effects. However, it may not be the best option for patients with high levels of anxiety.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Although not available for routine dental procedures, general anesthesia could be necessary for complex dental treatment. For example, if your child needs oral surgery of some kind, your dentist may recommend anesthesia. General anesthesia will put your child to sleep, much like they were getting their tonsils removed. This method of sedation often requires additional training and certification. So, your dentist may coordinate treatment with a local outpatient clinic and/or anesthesiologist to ensure your child is safe during the procedure.

If your child is afraid of the dentist, it can be difficult to ensure they get the treatment they need. At Mt. Airy Children’s Dental Associates, we offer safe and effective sedation methods that could help. Call us today at (301) 781-5337 to schedule an appointment and learn more about dental anxiety in children.