Sedation dentistry has become more common among adults who suffer anxiety about going to the dentist. It is not as commonly known that sedation dentistry can also apply to children as well. Before deciding to take your child in for sedation dentistry, it helps to know who child sedation dentistry is designed for.
If your child fits any of the three criteria listed above, you should talk with your child's dentist to see if sedation dentistry is the right step for your child.
If your child expresses to you a dislike of going to the dentist, you need to explore how deep this dislike of the dentist is. If it makes your child act out in the weeks and days leading up to your child's dental appointment, your child may have a genuine fear and/or anxiety with going to the dentist.
If your child has a panic attack when you take them to the dentist, that is another sign that their anxiety and fear is real.
In this type of situation, an experienced sedation dentist may use nitrous oxide on your child to help them relax and get comfortable during their appointment. You may also want to see about counseling to help your child cope with this fear.
Another reasons why sedation dentistry may be right for your child is because of health issues. For example, if your child has a mental health diagnoses that makes it difficult for your child to keep their emotions and/or their body under their control, sedation dentistry can make the process of going to the dentist easier both mentally and physically.
Or, if your child suffers from a physical disorder that makes it hard for them to control their body or comply with the instructions that a dentist issues, sedation dentistry could be a good option for them.
With health issues, generally either oral sedation or nitrous oxide is given to your child to help make the appointment go smoother for everyone.
Finally, the third situation that warrants sedation dentistry in children are serious procedures. For young children, undergoing having a cavity treated can be hard for them to endure both physical and mentally, in which case either oral sedation or nitrous oxide may be used.
Or, if your child needs to undergo a surgical procedure related to their mouth, that will take more than an hour, general anesthetics may be recommended in rare cases.
Remember, not all dentists practice sedation dentistry, so you may need to find a different dentist to work with your child if your child's regular dentist doesn't have experience with sedation dentistry.