Dental procedures of any variation can be an alarming and stressful time for you and your child. In addition, your pediatric dentist begins to suggest dental sedation during the procedure. So, what do you do?

Although dental procedures and dental sedation can seem a little daunting when first introduced, they can be extremely beneficial and smooth running. Depending on the procedure, dental sedation may be recommended by your pediatric dentist because it can assist with lessening patient anxiety and making them more cooperative during the procedure.

To feel more comfortable about taking this route, discuss options with your pediatric dentist of different types of dental sedation techniques:

Conscious Sedation – Medicine that can help a patient relax and/or become sleepy. This type of sedative will relax the patient; however, they will still be aware and able to respond to voices or stimulation. It may be administered through:

  • Inhaling a gas
  • Swallowing medication in the form of a syrup or a pill
  • Receiving medicine through a shot (injection)
  • Receiving medicine through a vein (intravenously)

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) – Nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen delivered through a mask over the nose. This type of sedative is used for mildly to moderately anxious patients; it allows the patient to relax while still being conscious enough to respond to conversation and stimulation. The effects are mild, and it can be quickly and safely eliminated from the body. Some children may be uncomfortable or dislike the mask, so Nitrous Oxide may not be the right fit for them.

Oral Sedation– Medication administered by mouth (orally). This type of sedative is often used for children that require a stronger medication than nitrous oxide. While under this sedative, your child may experience sleepiness, but can be aroused and aware of simple commands. Before the procedure, be sure to consult your dentist about dietary instructions and what to expect before and after the treatment.

Safety will always be the top priority for dentists, parents, and patients. For more information about dental sedation, contact your Raleigh dentist to discuss options for your child. Not every child will need to undergo dental sedation; however, it can assist with pre-procedure nervousness, anxiety, and for smoother cooperation. Dental sedation is a safe, and can be beneficial in the long-run!