Children who are very young or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the dentist to perform treatment may require some level of sedation. Sedation is also helpful for special needs children. There are many safe and effective drugs available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment.
Conscious sedation is an option for children who are older (six years and above) and are mildly apprehensive. This method can be administered in an inhalation form using nitrous oxide (N20-02).
General anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. Our practice utilizes a certified anesthesiologist for cases where the patient may pose a threat to their own safety during treatment. This will be discussed with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the patient before treatment to ensure the optimum beneficial outcome.
Sedation dentistry is most helpful for:
- Children who require major treatment
- A very anxious child
- Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion)
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who are medically compromised or have special needs