If you have a child with sensory sensitivities or one who is afraid of the dentist, getting the routine dental care that he or she needs can be challenging. After all, you don't want to expose your kids to additional emotional trauma, but you know that those dental visits need to happen. If you're looking for a way to make the process easier, consider talking with your child's dentist about sedation treatment during the next appointment. Here's a look at some of the most common questions asked about sedation dental care to help you understand the basics.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
In most situations, sedation dentistry is no different than undergoing surgery in the hospital. The dentist and his or her team of specialists will evaluate your child's medical history, any medications he or she is taking and even talk with your pediatrician, if needed. There will be staff members present to monitor your child's condition, and many sedation dental treatments are even done in a local hospital where the anesthesiologist and other professionals are accessible immediately in the event of any complications or other issues.
How Long Does the Sedation Last?
The length of time that the sedation lasts will vary based on the type of procedure that your child is having done. He or she could be placed under sedation for as little as a half an hour or as long as several hours. The dentist will ensure that your child is sedated for the duration of the treatment. Afterward, your child will wait in the recovery area until he or she is alert enough to safely be discharged.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
The medications administered for sedation dentistry will relax your child enough that he or she will be comfortable and unaware of what's going on. The anesthesia is similar to that which is used for traditional surgery. When your child wakes up, he or she won't have any memory of the procedure, which is ideal if you're trying to minimize the sensory input and associated emotional trauma.
Sedation is often recommended for kids on the autism spectrum if they have trouble following directions. Kids with an overwhelmingly sensitive gag reflex or those who are combative may also benefit from sedation. If you have concerns about your child's upcoming dental care treatment, talk with the dentist about the possibility of sedation to ease anxieties and help ensure a successful treatment.