Sedation Dentistry for KidsBrea, CA
Sedation dentistry can ease children’s anxiety over going to the dentist and make them more comfortable undergoing dental procedures. It is only natural that some children are nervous about going to the dentist. However, thanks to sedation dentistry, this does not have to interfere with kids getting the dental care they need.
Sedation dentistry for kids is available in Brea, CA, and the surrounding area. We will help keep your child calm, comfortable, and safe during dental procedures. Call us today at 714-782-0215 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
What is Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry involves using sedative medications during dental procedures to help patients relax and feel calm. There are a number of ways to deliver the sedation medication, including orally, through a mask, or an IV. Sedation can range in intensity from light to heavy depending on the needs of the patient and the dental procedure.
Lighter sedation may relax the patient, but they will still be largely awake during their procedure. Some patients require stronger sedation that puts them almost to sleep but not entirely unconscious. Sedation dentistry is different from sleep dentistry, where general anesthesia keeps the patient completely unconscious.
When do Kids Need Sedation Dentistry
Depending on a child’s sensitivity level, sedation can help with a wide range of procedures, from cleanings and cavity fillings to oral surgery. Sometimes children are especially scared of going to the dentist and need help staying comfortable and cooperating during the visit. Other reasons a child may need sedation dentistry include:
- Difficulty sitting still or controlling movements
- Extreme teeth sensitivity
- Fear of needles
- Feeling claustrophobia in the dentist’s chair
- Having a sensitive gag reflex
- Having special needs (physical, cognitive or behavioral)
Sometimes, a child will need sedation because they must undergo a lengthy procedure or a number of procedures in one appointment.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
In order to meet the needs of all our young patients, we offer a range of sedation options. We help parents evaluate their child’s needs so they can choose the form of sedation that best suits them. The following are the main forms of sedation we offer:
This is the mildest form of sedation known as “laughing gas.” It tends to make children feel more at ease and maybe even a little giggly and lightheaded. The child breaths in a mixture of nitrous and oxygen that helps them relax in minutes. Once the procedure ends, the child receives pure oxygen to clear the nitrous out of their system. Then, this type of mild sedation wears off quickly.
This sedative is taken orally as a liquid before their procedure. It may be an option for children who do not like the feeling of nitrous oxide. The medication will make the child feel calm and maybe even a little sleepy. Since this type of sedation can be unpredictable, we use it only in certain circumstances. This form of sedation does not wear off quickly like nitrous, and the child will likely feel groggy after the procedure until the oral sedation wears off.
We recommend this type of sedation for children with extreme dental anxiety. This is the deepest form of conscious sedation. During the treatment, we have an anesthesiologist oversee the child’s vital signs. The child will be less aware of what is going on around them and will not likely remember much of the procedure.
Our team will examine the child and thoroughly discuss with the parents the options for sedation. We have years of experience in matching children with the best form of sedation for their needs.
Getting Your Child Ready
How a child prepares for their procedure will be dictated by the specifics of the procedure and the type of sedation used. In most cases, parents should avoid giving their children solid food before sedation. It is most likely okay for the child to take their regular medication. However, parents should make the dentist aware of any medication their child is on, as certain medications will need to be avoided during the procedure.
There are simple things parents can do to help their child feel comfortable during the procedure. We advise parents to pick out loose-fitting clothes for their children to wear. Also, if a child has a favorite toy or stuffed animal, parents should encourage their child to bring it with them to the procedure.
Some sedation wears off quickly, like nitrous. However, other forms may take a little longer. If sedation beyond nitrous is used, the child will likely be groggy and need rest and special attention after the procedure.
Parents should urge their children to stay hydrated after the procedure. If the child needs to eat, they should stick to soft foods, such as lukewarm soup and mashed vegetables. Though complications are rare, our team will give parents detailed aftercare instructions, including issues to watch for. Any discomfort or swelling can be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller and an ice pack.
Call Us Today
Do not let dental anxiety keep your child from getting the dental care they need. We can help. Brea Pediatric Dental Practice and Orthodontics offers sedation dentistry for kids in Brea, CA, and the surrounding area. Call us now at 714-782-0215 to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sedation dentistry safe for kids?
We follow very strict guidelines when administering sedation to children. Though complications are rare, our team is well equipped to deal with them. We take great care in matching each child with the best form of sedation for them.
What are the different levels of conscious sedation you offer?
The mildest form of sedation we offer children is nitrous oxide. For children who do not tolerate nitrous well, liquid oral sedation is available. For children with extreme anxiety or those who are undergoing long or complicated procedures, we may recommend IV sedation.
Is sedation dentistry the same as sleep dentistry?
These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Sedation dentistry, like the type discussed here, usually refers to conscious sedation. This means the child will not be completely unconscious for the procedure. Sleep dentistry is a term reserved for when someone uses general anesthesia.
Does insurance cover sedation dentistry?
Many dental insurance plans do not cover sedation dentistry. However, some plans will cover it or a portion of it. We recommend that each patient checks with their insurance provider for specifics on their plan.
Are there any side effects to sedation dentistry?
The side effects depend on the type of sedation and how your child reacts to it. Children may have a short period of amnesia after waking up or be groggy. Sometimes children experience headaches or nausea, but this tends to be rare. Our team will take great care in choosing the medication that will help minimize side effects and avoid drug interactions.
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