Did you know that about 20% of children experience dental-related anxiety? So, if your little one struggles with anything from mild nerves to extreme stress surrounding visiting the dentist, they’re certainly not alone. Fortunately, options like nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) can help keep their anxiety at bay during their much-needed dental care. But is sedation dentistry safe for children? Keep reading to find out!
So, Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?
Sedation dentistry is a tried-and-true anxiety-relieving measure that has been used for years to help patients of all ages get the quality dental care they need without the stress. To provide children with an additional layer of protection, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry updated the requirements in 2019 for professionals providing children with deep sedation or general anesthesia. Now, at least two people need to be in the room throughout the treatment, including a dentist/oral surgeon and a dentist anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist. This ensures that advanced life support measures can be administered swiftly in the rare event that there are any problems.
The 2 Types of Sedation Dentistry
Depending on your child’s level of anxiety, medical history, and the dental work at hand, there are two sedation options that can be administered. The first is nitrous oxide, which is fast-acting and minimally invasive. After putting the nose piece in place, your child will breathe in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which will help them relax. The second type is IV sedation, which is much stronger. After administering the sedative intravenously, patients will enter a deep state of relaxation. Either way, your child’s vital signs will be monitored closely throughout the appointment to ensure their comfort and safety. Plus, both of these options make sure they can verbally respond to questions from our team since they will remain awake.
5 Sedation Dentistry Benefits
Although sedation dentistry can help your child have an enjoyable experience at the dentist, that isn’t the only reason they may benefit from this anxiety-relieving method. Other benefits include:
- More dentistry is completed in a single visit.
- Anterograde amnesia prevents dental-related anxiety from getting worse.
- Reduction of gag reflex.
- Additional pain relief.
- Eases nerves surrounding the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office.
As a parent, it’s only natural to want the best for your child and to look out for their wellbeing. Fortunately, anxiety-relieving methods like nitrous oxide are tried-and-true, effective, and safe. If you think they may benefit from sedation dentistry, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with their dentist today.
About the Practice
At Washington Dental Associates, our mission is always to provide our patients and their families with quality-first, patient-centric, incredibly safe dentistry. To accomplish this, we have a team of multiple dental specialists, including our anesthesiologist, Dr. Mendia. In addition to earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine, he completed a two-year postdoctoral residency. Since then, he has helped countless patients enjoy the stress-free dental care they deserve. To learn more about sedation dentistry, get in touch with our team via our website or by phone at 201-453-4863.