Sedation Dentistry for Torrance Kids
Sedation dentistry is commonly used during dental procedures, especially for kids. While dentistry shouldn't be painful, there are many sounds and smells in a dental office that can make kids anxious about dental treatment. Sedation dentistry is an excellent option for kids who need restorative treatment. It will help the appointment go smoothly, and your child won't be left with bad memories of visiting the dentist.
If you are curious about using sedation for your child's dental appointment, you need to know precisely what it is and the different types of sedation dentistry offered.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses a mild sedative to calm the patient. It is great for kids who have anxiety about dental treatment, have special needs, or have a strong gag reflex. (It's also great for kids who get a little antsy in the chair!)
While many children sleep during sedation, most types of sedation do not control pain or discomfort. Once the child is sedated, the dentist will administer an anesthetic to keep the procedure pain-free. The anesthetic and sedation effects may last a few hours after the appointment.
What types of sedation dentistry are there?
Nitrous oxide is also called "laughing gas." It is the least invasive, most mild form of sedation. The child's dentist administers nitrous oxide by placing a small hood over the patient's nose. Both nitrous and oxygen are delivered, and the patient becomes very relaxed after a few moments. However, sleep is not common with this form of sedation, and the relaxed feeling will go away by the time the patient is ready to leave the office.
Conscious sedation can have a mild to moderate effect, all controlled by the medication dosage. Kids under conscious sedation are sleepy, but they can usually follow commands given by the dentist, such as "open," "bite down," etc.
Under conscious sedation, patients are still breathing on their own. Therefore, Pediatric or general dentists can administer this type of sedation on their own. After the dental treatment, the child will wake somewhat quickly and remember very little about the procedure, if anything.
General Anesthesia / IV Sedation
General anesthesia requires an IV to deliver the sedative. While general sedation can be administered in a dental office, specially-trained professionals like anesthesiologists are usually on-site at our Torrance pediatric dentistry to deliver the sedative and help monitor the patient's vitals while the dentist performs the treatment.
Your child will be completely asleep during general anesthesia and will not remember the procedure. The anesthesiologist will help transition your child from sedation back into a wakeful state and make sure they are safe to go home.
Which type of sedation is best for my child?
That depends! We recommend using the least amount of sedation that is still enough to keep your child comfortable. It may also depend on how much treatment your child needs. For example, one or two fillings that may take 30 minutes may not require as much sedation as treatment that may take several hours.
Doctor Mori will recommend what she thinks is best in your child's situation. Call us today at our South Bay pediatric dentistry with questions 424-999-5478.