Sedation Dentistry for Children Essential When Performing Any Dental Procedure

Aug 27, 2021

Many children require intensive dental procedures and are affected by dental anxiety. In addition, children are affected by tooth decay and cavities that many parents feel don’t need any treatment. Unfortunately, the reverse is true because dental infections left untreated progress to create unimagined damages in the child’s mouth, needing lengthy or multiple dental procedures. The child’s dentist may recommend sedation dentistry for the child to calm their anxiety and perform the treatments required faster than imagined.

If you’re not aware of what pediatric sedation dentistry is, it is a technique used by dentists with help from mild calming tranquilizers to manage special needs or anxiety when your child undergoes dental treatments. Sedation is also helpful when multiple procedures are needed simultaneously, which may compromise your child’s safety. For example, you can expect your child’s dentist to provide sedation if your child has a strong gag reflex.

It helps to realize that sedatives do not control pain or discomfort but merely calm the child. After receiving sedation medications, the dentist administers shots of local anesthesia at the treatment site to prevent pain during and after the procedure. The sedatives your child receives may last for approximately six hours after completing the treatment.

What Types of Sedation Do Dentists Provide?

There are different types of sedation dentistry near you dentists may provide when treating your child. A brief description of the kind of sedation your child receives is mentioned below for your reference:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a safe and mild sedative that helps your child remain calm and relaxed during dental procedures. The pediatric dental office in Lancaster administers the sedation using a mask carrying oxygen mixed with the medication. Your child is asked to breathe through the nose and not the mouth. Your child will sense a faint and sweet smell as the sedative takes effect in approximately five minutes.

The mask remains in place until the dentist completes the procedure. Your child remains awake during the process and may have a happy feeling which is why nitrous oxide is also called laughing gas. After completing the procedure, the dentist turns off the nitrous oxide and allows your child to breathe oxygen for about five minutes, clearing out any remaining gas. You will receive instructions to limit your child to a restricted diet before the procedure.

Oral Sedatives

Oral sedatives are recommended for nervous children. The oral sedatives will make your child drowsy but keep them relaxed and calm during the dental procedure. Oral sedatives work within 20 minutes after they are administered, and the child’s dentist will deliver the medicines after you arrive for the appointment. However, if your child is receiving oral sedatives, they shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the procedure.

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation requires Dr. Sylvester Adu Boahene to deliver the sedatives via a needle inserted into your child’s vein in the arm or hand. IV sedation is incredibly beneficial because it lets the dentist deliver more medications during lengthy procedures and complete dental work faster as your child does not squiggle in the dentist’s chair.

Preparing for Pediatric Sedation Dentistry from Home

If your child needs sedation dentistry, you receive specific instructions for foods and beverages that require following hours before the procedure. Approximately 24 hours before your child’s procedure, you receive a phone call from the pediatric dentist’s office with specific instructions on what your child can eat or drink, depending on your child’s age. No matter your child’s age, you must follow the instructions provided over the phone to avoid complications that may need help from the emergency pediatric dentist in Lancaster, even when undergoing a minor procedure like getting teeth filled.


After you have scheduled the child’s dental procedure, a dental staff member meets you to take your child’s vital signs and entire medical history. As a caretaker, you are asked to sign forms of consent before your child receives sedation.

Your child receives sedation either by mouth, through the nose, or directly into the vein. The medicine works in two ways, either in a single dose taking effect gradually but lasting through the entire procedure. Another method is delivering a continuous dose throughout the process. You may remain with your child until they are entirely drowsy.

During the procedure, the dentist monitors your child’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and blood oxygen level to ensure all safety standards are maintained.

Children are just as anxious as adults when they need any medical treatment, including dental procedures. However, sedation dentistry is a blessing in disguise with dentists who provide minor or significant dental treatments without concerns about your child wiggling around or creating problems during the procedure. Therefore if recommended sedation dentistry for your child, do not hesitate to accept the dentist’s view because it is essential and proves incredibly beneficial for your child.

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