Does your child have a fear of the dentist? It’s a very common fear that many adults have as well. Having a little bit of fear is natural – the dentist’s chair can be an intimidating place for anyone! But avoiding the dentist because of your child’s fear can become a problem for your child’s oral health.
Proper dental hygiene also requires going to the dentist every 6 months, and the frequency isn’t any less for children. However, if going to the dentist is becoming a struggle and it’s become increasingly difficult for your child to feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair, there are options that you and your family can explore to make it easier, including sedation options.
The main sedation options are inhalation sedation, oral sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation, and general anesthesia. Inhalation sedation is otherwise known as laughing gas. This is a great option for kids who only have mild to moderate fear because it makes your child relax without putting him or her to sleep. Your child will still be awake in the dentist’s chair, but she won’t be as agitated or nervous as she would be without the sedation. Laughing gas also wears off quickly and your dentist can give your child oxygen to make the effects wear off even faster.
Oral sedation involves giving your child a pill that will make him or her feel more comfortable. Since it’s stronger than laughing gas, your dentist will determine whether or not this sedation option is right for your child. Oral sedation will make your child sleepy and the dental staff will make sure your child’s recovery from sedation is complete after treatment, before you go home.
With IV sedation, your child will still be conscious but sedated in the same way as oral sedation. IV sedation requires special training, so only dentists that have training and experience in this technique should administer it.
General anesthesia sedation is usually only used when your child needs to be unconscious to complete a dental treatment. It’s done in a hospital, but your child will go home the same day. This type of sedation option is only used if your child can’t relax enough for a treatment to be safely performed, if a lot of dental work needs to be done in one appointment, or if your child has special needs.
If your child requires sedation to get through a dental appointment, be sure to go to a dental office that has experience with sedation options for children like Growing Smiles Dentistry. Visit their website today to learn more about their sedation options and dental services. They have pediatric dentists in Toronto, Etobicoke, Guelph, and Thornhill.
Story source: Colgate
Featured image source: Sauk Centre Family Dental