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Considering Sedation for Your Child’s Dental Visit?

Posted March 20, 2023 in Pediatric Dentistry

3 Minute Read: 

When it comes to receiving dental care, many children experience fear, anxiety, and stress. This common reaction can cause significant distress for the child and parent while making treatment challenging for the dentist.

A little boy is happy and content while sitting in the dentist's chair.

Can Childhood Dental Anxiety Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent dental anxiety in children is to introduce them to a pediatric or child-friendly dentist early by scheduling a fun and stress-free dental appointment before they need treatment. Finding and choosing a dentist with a patient and compassionate approach (like the team at Gentle Care Dentistry in Las Cruces) can go a long way to help kids relax during their dental visit, and sedation can often be reserved for more invasive procedures. 

However, some children have anxiety levels so high that even simple treatments become impossible, and sedation is necessary to ensure they receive the dental care they need. 

Forcing a fearful child to undergo a dental procedure without sedation can cause their anxiety to worsen and become a life-long problem.

Dental Sedation for Children Is Safe

Sedation is a common practice used by dentists who are fully trained to administer various types of sedation, including oral sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and intravenous (IV) sedation.

Sedation is a safe and effective way to help children feel more comfortable in the dental chair and allows the dentist to provide preventative and restorative treatment. 

5 Top Reasons to Consider Sedation for Your Child’s Dental Visit

1. Dental Fear and Anxiety

Children with severe dental anxiety may not allow a hygienist to clean their teeth or the dentist to provide treatment. If your child experiences considerable fear or anxiety when visiting the dentist, sedation offers the relief they need to receive necessary dental care. 

2. Sensitivity to Pain

Some children have a heightened sensitivity to pain, and they may experience increased discomfort during dental procedures. Sedation helps reduce this sensitivity and can make the experience more comfortable for the child.

3. Complex Dental Procedures

For children who need extensive dental work or multiple procedures, sedation is often necessary to ensure that the work can be completed in a timely manner. This can reduce the number of appointments and your child’s time in the dentist’s chair.

4. Developmental or Physical Disabilities

Children with developmental or physical disabilities may find sitting still during dental procedures difficult. Sedation can reduce movement and ensure the dentist can provide the necessary care.

5. Special Needs

For children with special needs, such as autism, ADHD, or other conditions that affect their behavior, sedation may be necessary to help them relax and cooperate during their appointment.

Are There Any Risks Involved With Dental Sedation?

While sedation is safe for children receiving dental care, all medications carry some risk. It’s important to inform the dentist of any medicines your child takes regularly. 

The dentist can provide you with information about the different types of sedation available, as well as the risks and benefits of each. 

They will also be able to recommend the best option for your child based on their individual needs.

Essential Points on Dental Sedation for Children

  • This can be a safe and effective way to help children feel calm and relaxed during their dental appointments. 
  • If your child experiences fear, anxiety, pain sensitivity, has a disability or special needs, or requires a complex dental procedure, this can be an excellent option. 
  • Always discuss the benefits and risks of sedation with your child’s dentist to determine the best approach.

Sedation Dentistry for Children in Las Cruces, NM 

Gentle Care Dentistry in Las Cruces, New Mexico, offers sedation options for children’s dental treatments. Our pediatric dentists are committed to fostering healthy oral hygiene habits in children and meeting their unique dental needs with compassion.

To learn more about sedation dentistry for kids, call our Las Cruces Gentle Care Dentistry office at 575-524-3722.