Fear of the dentist stops many children from receiving the regular dental treatments needed to prevent cavities and oral disease. For children with dental phobia, just thinking about going to the dentist is enough to provoke overwhelming anxiety and panic attack symptoms that leave parents upset, worried and wondering how they are ever going to get their child the dental cleanings and check-ups they need to maintain healthy teeth and good oral health.
Pediatric Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry for children is the most safe and effective method dentists use to give their younger, more anxious patients the dental care they need to keep “baby” and permanent teeth strong and healthy. Sedation methods include:
- Nitrous Oxide. Inhaled just before a dental treatment begins, this odorless and tasteless gas puts the child in a state of “conscious sedation.” It is slightly stronger than oral sedation and is recommended for children with moderate dental phobia. Reactions to nitrous oxide usually wear off within two hours and most children do not experience lingering side effects.
- Intravenous Sedation. Reserved for children with severe dental phobia or who need intensive dental treatments, such as a tooth extraction or several cavity fillings. Monitoring of the child’s respiration, blood pressure and heart is performed by qualified staff during the procedure and the child is never left alone in the office. IV sedation consists of a benzodiazepine agent intravenously introduced into the child’s bloodstream just before treatment begins.
- Oral Sedatives. Frequently prescribed for anxious children who need a routine examination and cleaning or a single cavity filled, oral sedatives are taken about 30 to 45 minutes prior to visiting the dentist. Although oral sedatives relax the child enough to take the “edge” off their fear of the dentists, they remain fully conscious during the procedure and may still require a local anesthetic to provide pain relief.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry for Children
- Nitrous oxide deadens nerve endings, which helps relieve pain related to the dental procedure being performed.
- By blocking memories of a dental procedure, children suffering from fear of the dentists may eventually defeat their dental phobia naturally so that sedation may no longer be necessary.
- Children with sensitive gag reflexes often feel embarrassed about going to the dentist. Sedation dentistry can suppress the urge to gag on dental tools and relieve fears as well.
- Children with behavioral or emotional disorders or special needs that make it difficult for them to sit still long enough to complete a procedure can benefit from sedation.
- Pediatric sedation dentistry allows dentists to improve treatment quality, which can reduce the number of visits and minimize dental costs for parents.
If Your Child is Has Dental Phobia, Contact Park Avenue Pediatric Dentistry Today to Explore Your Options.
Take the “scariness” out of dental visits for your child by discussing options with a caring and experienced pediatric dentist in NYC, who is qualified to use sedation methods for children.