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Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Kids?

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Kids?

Going to the dentist makes plenty of adults nervous, so it’s no surprise that it comes with challenges for many kids. Fortunately, regularly visiting the dentist can go a long way here. When this becomes a normal part of your child’s life, it eliminates the fear-of-the-unknown element. 

Many kids feel increasingly comfortable the more they visit the dentist. That said, nervousness may still play a role. To help your child feel as comfortable as possible — and get the oral health care they need — Irene Zaki, DDS, offers sedation dentistry here at Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry in Riverside, California. 

Most parents ask us one thing: Is it safe? Let's take a closer look to help you understand the safety of this anxiousness-easing option.

Sedation dentistry’s proven safety

The American Dental Association (ADA) says there are scenarios in which anesthesia and sedation make sense for children receiving dental care. In fact, the ADA explicitly recommends “sedation to relax them in order to safely complete some dental procedures.” In other words, sedation is not only safe but also protects your child by keeping them calm and still during treatment. 

Dr. Zaki administers sedation dentistry per the latest guidelines to ensure it’s safe for kids. That includes adhering to the rules laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). 

Only what your child needs

All kids are different, so it wouldn’t make sense to approach their nervousness in the same way. That’s why Dr. Zaki offers several different levels of sedation dentistry. 

Oral sedation

With this option, your child takes an oral medication to deliver mild-to-moderate sedation. They’ll still be awake, but they should be totally relaxed — and maybe even a little loopy.

Nitrous oxide

Also called laughing gas, this mild sedative is safe for kids, and dentists have used it since the mid-1800s. It kicks in quickly, wears off fast, and has no long-term effects. 

We administer laughing gas to your child through a mask. All they need to do is breathe normally, and they should be fully calm but still awake in just a few minutes. 

IV sedation

Dr. Zaki generally only recommends intravenous (IV) sedation for kids with a significant fear of the dentist or kids with special needs. This option puts them to sleep, ensuring they’re still as we perform the necessary dental work. 

To ensure your child’s safety, we bring in an anesthesiologist when administering sedation via IV. 

Not all kids need sedation dentistry, but it can make a big difference when they do. To learn more about it or its safety, call our office or schedule an appointment with us online today. 

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