7 Top Frequently Asked Questions Parents Have About Sedation Dentistry

Understanding sedation dentistry

What do you need to know about sedation dentistry?

As a parent, you need to know that you’ve chosen the right form of care for your child, especially when it comes to their teeth. However, if your child has dental anxiety or special needs, or if they require a long or complex procedure, ensuring comfortable care can be a priority that is tough to accomplish. 

In these cases, sedation dentistry may be the answer. Here are some answers to some sedation dentistry FAQs:

1. Is dental sedation safe?

Safety is undoubtedly a top concern for parents when discussing any of their child’s care, let alone dental work. Nevertheless, many are concerned about dental sedation for children, but the process is incredibly safe. Dentists are required to undergo the proper training to administer certain types of sedation, and others are handled by licensed anesthesiologists

In either case, your child’s sedation is carefully planned, administered, and monitored. Your child’s medical history and other important details are all carefully evaluated during planning to ensure a safe and effective procedure. 

2. Is sedation dentistry right for my child?

Making choices about your child’s dental care can be a challenge, and though you can learn about different aspects of your child’s care, the best course of action is to speak with your dentist directly. Every case is unique, so discussing your child’s needs and their specific procedure is the only way to know for sure.

Dental anxiety is a common reason for sedation dentistry, as your child’s feelings may go beyond simply not liking visiting the dentist. Sedation can keep them calm to improve their experience and prevent any disruption during their care. It may also be necessary for very young children or for particularly long or complex procedures.

3. Which types of procedures require sedation dentistry?

Different dental procedures are more or less likely to call for dental sedation for children. The longer and more invasive a procedure, the more likely that sedation will be the right choice. Most children can handle a cavity filling with just a local anesthetic, but more involved procedures, such as a tooth extraction or oral surgery, may require a stronger form of sedation.

Your child’s individual needs also play a major role in determining which procedures they may require dental sedation to handle. In some cases, even routine care, such as dental exams and teeth cleanings, may call for sedation to relax your child and make receiving dental care bearable.

4. What types of sedation are available?

At Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry, we provide a variety of sedation dentistry options to provide comfortable treatment for our patients. These include the following:

  • Nitrous Oxide: Also called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a sedative applied through a mask that provides a calm experience in which your child is relaxed but still conscious.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: A sedative pill is taken before the procedure. Your child will remain conscious and calm but likely drowsy, so they may fall asleep.
  • General Anesthesia: General anesthesia is used in a wide range of medical procedures and surgeries. When administered, your child will be unconscious during the procedure and have no memory of it. It is often only administered in hospitals, but our team has a traveling anesthesiologist, enabling in-office treatment.

Our team is highly experienced in providing sedation dentistry for children using each of these methods to ensure the best possible patient experience.

5. Which level of sedation is right for my child?

One of the most common sedation dentistry FAQs we answer is how to match the right level of sedation for your child. It is a process that will involve a discussion between you and your dentist, along with a careful review of your child’s medical records and unique needs.

6. What is the experience of sedation dentistry like?

Your child’s experience will vary depending on the specific type of sedation they receive. Nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation instill a drowsy and relaxed state, and your child will retain some vague memories of the procedure. Under general anesthesia, however, your child will be unconscious, and they will not remember any part of the procedure.

7. Are there alternatives to sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is safe and effective, but avoiding unnecessary treatment is a standard practice in medicine. Our practice provides a calm environment and takes the time to discuss our procedures with children and parents, and doing so is often enough to assuage dental anxiety. We work closely with patients to find the right solution for their children’s needs.

Sedation Dentistry Near Salem, OR

Hopefully, these sedation dentistry FAQs have provided some clarity surrounding your child’s dental care, though it’s possible you may still have some questions. At Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll discuss your child’s treatment plan in full to find the right option for their needs, and we’ll be happy to address any concerns you have about their care. You can find a painless dentist in Salem, Oregon, for your child’s care by booking an appointment at Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry today.