Visiting the dentist can be upsetting for many children. Many experience dental phobia - which means that they suffer from fear and anxiety when visiting the dentist - even if just for a cleaning. With the use of sedation dentistry, dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych advises that your child will not have to experience anxiety during the appointment.
Dentists may recommend sedation for long, complex procedures and for patients who are especially young or nervous. Sedating a patient is a very safe procedure, and parents can help reduce the stress level for their child before, during and after the treatment.
Types of Sedation
Following are three major types of sedation dentists provide.
Oral sedation: Taken by mouth or through the nose, the medicine usually takes up to 20 minutes to work. While it doesn't put patients to sleep, it does help them stay calm and relaxed.
Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, a mask delivers a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, and within five minutes, the patient relaxes and experiences euphoric feelings.
Intravenous sedation: Delivered through a needle inserted into the vein, this method is used after the child has been put to sleep with nitrous oxide.
Prior to Sedation
Children typically tolerate sedation and other dental procedures best if the parents understand what is happening and help prepare the child. In preparation, your dentist advises that parents should:
- Restrict food and drink prior to sedation, as there is a risk of vomiting.
- Dress the child in loose-fitting clothing, which will allow dental assistants to attach monitors quickly and without fuss.
- Provide a full medical history and advise the dentist if the child is taking any prescriptions, over-the-counter medication or herbal supplements.
During the Procedure
Parents can help their children stay relaxed by being calm and encouraging. Try bringing along a comfort item for the child to hold, such as a favorite toy or stuffed animal. Holding the child's hand and talking or singing gently are other good comfort tactics.
After the Procedure
Parents should be present when their child wakes up as he or she may be confused or fussy and may experience some nausea. Two adults should accompany the patient on the way home — one to drive and one to monitor the child's breathing.
For the first few hours following the procedure by your dentist Columbia, parents should give the child only soft foods. If the child vomits or has severe pain, bleeding or fever, parents should contact the dentist immediately.
Dental sedation is a safe and fuss-free option when performed with the right preparation and proper care prior to and following the procedure. If your child experiences fear when going to the dentist, we can help! Call the office of dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule a consultation.