Beauty of Oral Conscious Sedation for Kids
The beauty of oral conscious sedation for kids is that it takes the fear out of dental visits. This enables your child to get the treatment and preventative care they need to keep their teeth and gums strong and healthy.
Because of the amnesiac properties of the sedation medication, your youngster will have little or no memory of their dental procedure. This will lessen anxiety about subsequent trips to the dentist and reinforce positive associations with dental hygiene.
Sedative medication relaxes your child by putting the brakes on reactions of the central nervous system, which reduces the sense of pain and tones down activity in the brain receptors responsible for fear.
Your child will feel drowsy but will remain aware of what is going on, which enables the dentist to communicate with them. However, they will be less bothered by the bright lights and antiseptic smells of the dental office.
Some youngsters may tend to struggle during treatment, and this is likely to delay the procedure. Oral conscious sedation for children enables the dentist to carry out work without interruption or resistance.
For young children, sitting still for some time may be difficult. Oral conscious sedation in these instances allows the treatment to be completed uninterrupted, quickly and efficiently. A further benefit of oral conscious sedation for kids is that, unlike intravenous sedation, it doesn’t involve injections.
Can Oral Conscious Sedation Help My Child?
Oral conscious sedation can make it easier for your youngster to get dental care if they have a particularly small or sensitive mouth or are resistant to local anesthetic.
Other children who may benefit from oral sedation include those who have:
- A tendency toward anxiety in general.
- Special needs.
- Difficulty sitting still.
- A lengthy procedure ahead of them.
- Negative associations with dental visits.
Oral sedation can also be helpful if your child has a strong gag reflex. Gagging involves both physiological and psychological reactions. Oral conscious sedation for kids addresses both issues.
Oral dental sedation can help your youngster tolerate treatments such as:
- Tooth extraction.
- Root canal.
If your child’s levels of anxiety are particularly high, your pediatric dentist may also consider oral sedation for preventative care such as:
- Dental sealants.
- Fluoride treatments.
Without preventative care, your child will be at increased risk of gum infection and tooth decay. For instance, if bacteria-laden tartar (calcified plaque) has accumulated in your child’s mouth, it can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
What Medicines are used in Oral Conscious Sedation for Kids?
Oral sedation can be mild or moderate and is administered as a pill or in liquid form. It’s less expensive than intravenous sedation and has fewer side effects.
Prescribed medicine for oral conscious sedation for kids is typically taken in the dental office about an hour before treatment. These low-dosage medications include:
- Midazolam (brand name Versed).
- Diazepam (Valium).
- Triazolam (Halcion).
Although cognitive function may be mildly impaired temporarily, the heart and respiratory systems continue to work as normal.
How Oral Conscious Sedation for Kids Can Save Time and Money
Oral conscious sedation for kids can save time and make treatment less expensive, particularly if your child needs a complex, lengthy procedure.
Without sedation, your child’s dental treatment may take more than one appointment because of apprehension or inability to stay still. Sedation means the dentist will be able to work longer without your child becoming agitated, enabling completion of treatment in one visit.
In fact, with oral conscious sedation, the dentist may be able to perform several procedures during a single appointment, and your youngster will feel as if little time has passed, with no discomfort or anxiety.
Risks of Neglecting Dental Care for Your Child
Many adults get apprehensive about going to the dentist, so it’s no wonder that youngsters have similar anxieties. Research has discovered that dental anxiety can unwittingly be passed on by parents to their children.
If your youngster’s anxiety over dental visits is causing you to avoid or delay seeking treatment, it can pose significant health risks including tooth loss and gum problems that can also affect their overall wellbeing. Decayed or stained teeth can also make children self-conscious.
The solution is to find a pediatric dentist experienced in allaying the fears of their young patients through measures such as sedation dentistry1 and who will treat your child with compassion and empathy.
Oral conscious sedation can ensure your youngster will be far less vulnerable to developing the mental health condition of dental phobia (odontophobia). This will allow them to get the treatment they need to put them on a firm footing for sound oral health into adulthood.
Is Oral Conscious Sedation Safe for Kids?
Guidelines and regulations on oral conscious sedation for kids are laid down by dental authorities including state dental boards, the American Dental Association2 (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry3 (AAPD).
During oral conscious sedation, the dentist will monitor your youngster’s vital signs, including respiration and blood pressure, and have oxygen and drugs on hand to reverse the effects if necessary.
With an experienced dentist, the danger of complications from oral conscious sedation is minimal. Ask your pediatric dentist about their training and experience in oral sedation dentistry.
In deciding whether your child is suitable for sedation, the dentist will need to know their medical history and what medications they may be taking.
Every Child Reacts Differently to Oral Conscious Sedation
Many children respond well to oral conscious sedation. However, each child reacts differently to the medication, and some may remain anxious and uncooperative to varying degrees.
If your child has not previously had oral conscious sedation, there can be no guarantee exactly how they will react. Nevertheless, a good pediatric dentist can guarantee to treat your youngster with the same empathy they have for their own children.