At Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry in Bentonville, AR, we make your child’s safety and comfort our top priority during every visit. That’s why we don’t just offer gentle, compassionate dental care in a friendly environment, but safe pediatric dental sedation to help make sure that your child’s procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Our team of experienced pediatric dentists and support professionals are trained to effectively incorporate sedation wherever appropriate and will always monitor your child’s well-being throughout their visit. To get started, contact us today!
What Is Pediatric Dental Sedation?
Pediatric dental sedation is the practice of using medication to help your child feel more relaxed, comfortable, and safe during their dental visit. Just like adults, many children feel nervous about going to the dentist. While we highly recommend speaking with your child about their fears, we may also suggest incorporating sedation where it can be helpful — especially during larger or more complicated treatments.
During a dental appointment, we can use sedation to help put your child into a state of mind where they are less anxious or in touch with any feelings of discomfort that may come up. This can make your child’s dental procedure a much smoother and easier experience and also help keep them from developing additional phobias around dental care. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing that they are having a better time during their appointment.
What Is the Difference Between Sedation and an Anesthetic?
You’re probably familiar with local anesthetic — the novocaine that most dentists use to numb a tooth before working on it. That works by temporarily shutting down the nerve cells around the tooth so that they can’t send signals of discomfort to the brain.
However, local anesthetic doesn’t do anything to address feelings of anxiety or stress, which can often be just as unpleasant as any physical pain. That’s where sedation comes in. While sedation medication can also have a mild anesthetic effect, it is especially good at helping your child feel less afraid and more comfortable. Sedation works best when combined with local anesthetic and is used to fill in the gaps and make sure that your child has the best possible experience during treatment.
Is Sedation Safe for Children?
Yes. When administered properly, sedation is effective and safe for children. At Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry, your child will receive sedation under the supervision of a trained, experienced dentist and will always be carefully monitored during treatment.
What Are the Different Levels of Sedation?
Sedation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your child’s needs, we can offer different levels of sedation that range from mild to heavy. Some forms of sedation are more appropriate for certain treatments than others.
- Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide is the lightest form of sedation. A clear gas that helps induce feelings of relaxation, well-being, and even giddiness, nitrous is typically mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a breathing mask. This is a good fit for smaller procedures that still cause your child anxiety, like a filling.
- Oral Sedation
Oral sedation is the next step up. Typically a pill or a liquid, oral sedation helps your child feel more relaxed, calm, and even drowsy during an appointment. This is a good bet for larger procedures or if your child suffers from high anxiety.
- IV Sedation
IV sedation is a stronger form of sedation that is typically used during more involved treatments. This approach involves administering a sedative medication intravenously, which puts your child into a state of consciousness that is often called twilight, or halfway between sleep and waking. While receiving IV sedation, your child will be monitored by a licensed anesthesiologist or anesthetist.
- General Anesthesia
The highest level of sedation, general anesthesia is reserved for more complicated procedures. This is the same form of anesthesia that is used to put someone under when they go into a hospital for surgery and will make your child go into a deep sleep, eliminating all awareness and discomfort during a procedure. If your child needs general anesthesia, they will be monitored by an anesthesiologist the whole time.
Want to Learn More?
To learn more about pediatric dental sedation or book an appointment, contact us today!