I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
If your child has a fear of the dentist, or if they're unable to sit still for very long, having dental work done can be a challenge. You can't let bad teeth go untreated or your child could suffer from toothaches and infections. Conscious sedation for children is an option to consider. Talk to your child's dentist to see if sedation is a good match for your child. Here's how it works.
Conscious Sedation Relaxes Your Child
Conscious sedation for children is beneficial because it relaxes your child so they can endure sitting in the dentist's chair and undergoing treatment. The sedation doesn't relieve pain, so your child also needs anesthetic shots on the teeth that are being worked on. The combination of the sedative and anesthetic makes the dental procedure more tolerable. Your child may even sleep through most of the treatment, but they'll be easy to arouse if needed.
Conscious Sedation Isn't The Same As General Anesthesia
General anesthesia is unconscious sedation. This might be an option, too, if your child needs a lot of dental work and the dentist doesn't think conscious sedation will work well enough. However, conscious sedation is preferable if it's suitable since your child will wake up right away and not have the side effects and risks associated with general anesthesia.
Conscious sedation isn't the same as nitrous oxide either. Nitrous oxide is also able to relax your child and it wears off fast. However, the effects are lighter. Nitrous oxide is a gas your child breathes in that relaxes them enough to take the anesthetic shot and undergo quick treatments. Conscious sedation is between light nitrous oxide and deep general anesthesia. It can be taken by pill, liquid, or IV.
Conscious Sedation Makes Dental Visits Easier
If your child has a lot of fear surrounding going to the dentist, taking an oral sedative can make a big difference in their experience. Sedation has the child relaxed before any work starts so they're able to endure the anesthetic shot, examination, and filling or other procedures while being nearly asleep. Conscious sedation could also be a good match if you have a hyper child that can't endure being in a dentist's chair for more than a few minutes.
Your child may need sedation if they have a strong gag reflex and gag frequently during treatment. Your dentist may prefer to sedate your child if your child needs a long procedure so it isn't so hard on your child to sit still and endure work on their teeth. Being sedated enough to fully relax, yet still able to respond to questions and instructions, makes the dental visit much easier for everyone.
For more information about conscious sedation for children, reach out to a local clinic.