Dental anxiety is a relatively common fear among children. According to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, in various countries, the rate of dental anxiety and fear in young children may range from 5% to 20%.
Anxiety can make the experience of receiving dental care unpleasant for your child. If their anxiety is severe, it may even prevent the dentist from performing their work.
A dentist may thus recommend sedation dentistry options if a child is afraid of undergoing a dental procedure. Through sedation, a dentist can ease a child’s anxiety and allow them to more comfortably receive the dental treatment they need.
Sedation Dentistry for Children: Options to Consider
Sedation dentistry comes in several forms. They include the following:
- Nitrous oxide: Better known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a safe gas a patient can inhale through a mask while a dentist works on them. The gas yields a feeling of c alm with minimal side effects.
- Oral sedation: Another common form of sedation dentistry is oral sedation, which involves a patient taking a sedative that allows them to stay conscious and responsive while also being quite calm and relaxed. Sometimes, patients who undergo this form of sedation dentistry don’t even remember their procedures.
- IV Sedation: A dentist may reserve this option for patients who struggle with particularly severe dental anxiety. Unlike the methods above, with IV sedation, a dentist renders a patient unconscious during a dental procedure.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for a Child?
Nitrous oxide is often the first sedation method that dentists consider when working with younger patients. That’s primarily because it’s the safest.
Oral sedation and IV sedation are also relatively safe. However, because they involve providing a child with a sedative drug, it’s important for a dentist to get the dosage right, monitor a patient’s condition, and understand how any medications a child already takes may interact with the sedative. Such issues aren’t matters of concern with basic nitrous oxide sedation.
Discussing Sedation Dentistry with Your Child’s Dentist
If your kid’s dentist suggests sedation dentistry options, providing them with certain pieces of information could help both you and the dentist better determine which method is right for your child’s needs. Specifically, you should mention whether your child:
- Has any conditions that affect their breathing
- Has any heart health problems
- Has any allergies
- Takes any other medications already
When discussing these topics with a dentist, feel free to ask them any additional questions you may have as well. Remember, part of the dentist’s job is to ensure you’re informed about your child’s dental care. They can answer your questions and help you feel more comfortable with the sedation method you end up choosing for your kid.
Learn More About Sedation Dentistry for Children in New Jersey
At Champagne Smiles, in Morganville, NJ, we strive to ensure our young patients receive the dental care they need while experiencing minimal anxiety. For more information about what we can do for your child, call us at 732-972-0918 to request an appointment.