Pediatric Dentistry: What are the Different Types of Sedation Treatments?

boy having a dental check-up

Most of the time, children experience intimidation during dental visits, or they are unable to remain still during examinations and treatment sessions that could go for extended periods. Sedation comes in handy to minimize anxiety and help children relax during their dental visits.

According to research, almost all children of all ages can be sedated. The reason is there are sufficient sedation and administration options to suit all the age groups. These methods may include oral meds, injection, intravenous and inhalation. That said, this article highlights various categories of sedation administered by pediatric dentists like Three Rivers Dental.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly referred to as laughing gas, this option is majorly used on children who are moderately or mildly anxious. This gas eases their nervousness by making them ready to receive treatment safely and comfortably. This gas has minimal effects and is quickly flushed out of the body. However, it is advisable that you feed the child with liquids or light foods only, ahead of the procedure as this gas can be nauseous.

Oral Sedation

Some kids have a high level of anxiety and are likely to cause trouble during treatment. Hence, they require something stronger than nitrous oxide. Before administering this option, the dentist will establish your child’s ability to cooperate, their anxiety level and the treatment method. During this sedation, the child can be sleepy but can be easily roused and respond to simple instructions. Note that this method may cause vomiting or nausea depending on the oral sedation drug administered.

Conscious sedation

This option helps your child relax, and in some cases, it helps him/her become sleepy. However, the child remains conscious in that they can respond to stimulation or voices and they also maintain their protective reflexes. It is used mainly when a child has special needs or requires extensive dental treatment sessions. Conscious sedation can be introduced through gas inhalation, intravenous medication, injection, or taking pills or syrup.

Note that after sedation, the child will be drowsy and as such, they will need close monitoring. When putting them to sleep, ensure that they lie on the side with their chin up. Also ensure that you wake them up every hour, and offer them something to drink to prevent dehydration.