Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to relax patients in the dental chair when they come in for dental treatment. It has many advantages but its primary use is to relieve dental anxiety and phobias and put patients at ease when they go to the dentist.
It is commonly used in children, patients with special needs, and adults with dental anxiety. Sedation at our Beaumont office can range from mild, in which the patient is fully conscious, or deep, where we can put the patient to sleep.
An estimated 5% - 20% of kids have dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry can help kids with anxiety and keep them comfortable during their appointment.
Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is a gas your child will inhale through the nose. We administer this sedative through a nasal mask along with a steady flow of oxygen. This sedative takes effect very quickly, causing the patient to feel at ease, relaxed, euphoric, and giddy within just a few minutes.
We can control the dosage that is coming through the nasal mask. It is the safest sedative available which makes it commonly used for children. Nitrous oxide is mild so your child will remain conscious during the procedure, but they also won’t be able to remember anything once the sedative wears off. At the end of your appointment, we will remove the nasal mask and your child will return to a normal state within just a few minutes.
IV sedation is a more intense form of conscious sedation because it is administered directly to your veins through an IV. While we will monitor your heart rate and oxygen levels, you will not need breathing assistance through a tube, like with general anesthesia.
Your breathing will remain automatic and you will feel very sleepy once the sedative takes effect. Some patients may fall asleep and not be aware of what happened during the appointment.
This sedative is more suitable for people with severe dental anxiety, special needs, or a more invasive procedure. The lingering effects of this sedative can last for 24 hours.
Your child will have all of their adult teeth by the age of 12 or 13, but their faces and jaws are still growing. This makes the pre-teen and teen years the ideal time for orthodontia. It’s easier to realign their smiles with orthodontic treatment like braces and Invisalign at this time.
So be on the lookout for signs of misalignment that may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. If your teen’s teeth are visibly crooked or crowded, or you notice an issue like an overbite or underbite, you should schedule an orthodontic consultation to explore your options for correcting their smile.
Sedation is often used when a patient is severely anxious about visiting the dentist, has a fear of needles, or has mental or physical special needs. It can also reduce restlessness, low pain tolerance, and sensitive gag reflex. The amnesiac effect also helps patients forget the procedure if the dentist is a traumatic experience for them. Sedation is often also used for more invasive procedures that have a higher risk for discomfort, such as extractions or other oral surgeries. Sedation can help patients sit still for long periods or hold their mouths open without getting tired.
The dentist is also able to get more dental work done in fewer appointments.If you think your child could benefit from dental sedation for their next appointment, contact us at Kindred Pediatric Dentistry in Beaumont to schedule a consultation with Dr. Meghanne Kruizenga.