How to Prepare Your Child for Sedation Dentistry
Having dental work done at any age can be intimidating.
As a result, the natural fears and anxieties associated with hopping in the chair are often amplified in children. This may cause them to be less cooperative, requiring extra attention and care during a procedure.
Luckily, our team at Smile Town offers services specifically designed for children. As a dentist limited to just children, we can provide unique and unprecedented care in the industry.
Our professional team of doctors and staff specializes in dentistry focused on children, as well as paediatric sedation/anesthesia.
Now, you may be thinking, why would my child need sedation? While anxiety, fear and pain can be modified by behaviour management techniques, in many cases, some level of sedation is required to help ease children through the process.
Usually, these children are younger, and although the procedures are not particularly uncomfortable, they do require the child to remain still. Sedation and anesthesia allow your child to cope better with dental treatment, leading to better clinical outcomes and preventing injury from uncontrolled or undesirable movement.
The question then becomes – how do you prepare your child for sedation dentistry?
That’s where our experts come in! A few simple steps will ensure your child receives the appropriate care under the appropriate conditions.
Below we’ve put together a list of the steps you can follow to help prepare your child for sedation dentistry.
Consult an Expert
Before moving ahead with the sedation/anesthesia process, it’s important you speak with one of our experts to determine which option will be best.
During the initial consultation, they will collect a complete medical history for your child, answer any outstanding questions you have about the procedure or sedation options available and help determine the right technique for helping your child undergo their medical/dental treatment.
Know Your Options
If your child is in need of dental sedation, we offer three separate options. This includes: having your child minimally or moderately sedated, deep sedation, and general anesthesia if required.
If dental sedation is not needed, your child will be fully awake during their dental procedure.
Understanding what each option entails before the procedure not only gives you peace of mind during your child’s treatment but also ensures the best option is being chosen for them.
What is awake dentistry?
Awake dentistry does not involve any form of sedation.
Instead, our team uses distraction and comfort behaviour modification techniques, which we are formally trained in, leading to a more comfortable and stress-free dental experience for children of all ages.
What is conscious or minimal sedation?
During conscious sedation, your child is not asleep. Instead, this type of sedation is used to make your child feel calmer, but they are still alert during the treatment.
Conscious dental sedation can be unpredictable, with results varying from child to child depending on their age, anxiety levels and the amount of dental work required.
Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the most commonly used form of minimal sedation. Depending on your child’s levels of comfort and anxiety, as well as how effective the sedation is, you may need to come back for a few visits to complete the work.
What is deep sedation?
This form of sedation allows us to complete all treatment required during a single appointment rather than having you come back multiple times.
Your child will be fully asleep with the help of our dental anesthesiologists, who are trained, registered and licensed to provide deep sedation to children. This type of sedation is commonly required for children with higher levels of anxiety or discomfort with dental work or who may need a lot of work done.
What is general anesthesia?
General anesthesia is commonly used for operations in hospitals. General anesthesia involves placing an endotracheal (breathing) tube and using anesthetic vapours and other intravenous (IV) medications to keep a patient asleep.
General anesthesia is extremely predictable but only used for more involved procedures.
You can find more information about our four sedation options here, on our website.
Prepare Your Child for Dental Sedation
Prepare to Fast
Several of our children’s sedation options require your child to avoid eating any food or drink for an extended amount of time before treatment.
It’s important to understand these restrictions and adhere to them in order for the treatment to be one hundred percent effective on the day of.
Plan for Recovery Time
Each children’s sedation option’s recovery period varies depending on the chosen kind and the amount administered.
Immediately after the treatment is complete, your child will be brought into our recovery room to rest before heading home.
Some of the sedation options take longer to wear off than others, and therefore, your child may potentially be drowsy for the rest of the day. In this case, you will need to plan for your child to go straight home afterwards.
Understand the Science
We recognize some concerns surrounding the effects of sedation and anesthesia on children.
However, research has shown that the development of children who undergo these types of treatments does not differ from those that don’t.
With these procedures, we aim to eliminate the stress and anxieties that come with having dental work performed for you and your child.
Where to Start
At Smile Town, we know visiting the dentist can be a nerve-racking experience for children – because we are a dentist limited just to children! Our facilities have been designed solely to make dentistry a fun and enjoyable experience for children of every age.
We care deeply about instilling lifelong, great oral health and habits in our patients. That is why we believe in offering a wide range of children’s sedation options so that you can find the right one for your child.
Helping children manage their behaviour during treatments is one way we can maintain great oral health and encourage great oral health habits in the long term.
Together, we can make the dental process more comfortable for everyone and ensure your child receives the care that best suits them.
To book an appointment with one of our Smile Town experts, call the dental office nearest you or contact us here.