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Is Your Child Nervous About Seeing the Dentist? Sedation Dentistry Can Help

A child’s fear is usually a blend of what they know and don’t yet understand. So, it’s unsurprising that many kids fear going to the dentist. 

They often worry that it might be painful, something they probably understand from scraping a knee or stubbing a toe. Pair that with a fear of the unknown stemming from being in an unfamiliar environment with strangers wielding weird-looking tools, and it’s not shocking that many children feel nervous about their upcoming dental appointment. 

Irene Zaki, DDS, and our team know that many kids don’t feel comfortable at the dentist—and we want to help. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry at Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry. It allows us to provide your child with a safe, comfortable, and relaxed visit to our office in Riverside, California. 

How sedation dentistry helps

Fear of the dentist is pretty common in kids. One recent study asked 300 children ages 7-11 about visiting the dentist. Roughly half of them reported some level of fear about the experience. 

In other words, if your child feels nervous about getting professional oral care, they’re certainly not alone. That’s why Dr. Zaki and our team have chosen to offer sedation dentistry.

With this safe and effective solution, we can employ several different tools to help your child relax. Ultimately, our goal is to separate the fears in their minds from their actual experience at our office. With the right type of sedation, we help them have a comfortable — and maybe even pleasant — time at our office. 

Finding the right level of sedation for your child

We tailor the level of sedation to your child’s nervousness. If they feel a little uneasy, for example, we might recommend oral sedation. 

The medication helps them relax, but they stay awake for the appointment. Using oral sedation helps them feel comfortable when exposed to dental care. By easing their nerves but keeping them awake, we help them understand what to expect during dentist’s appointments. That increased familiarity often makes children less nervous for future visits to our office.

If your child intensely fears the dentist, we may recommend a more potent form of sedation. With nitrous oxide (i.e., laughing gas), your child has a pleasant experience while in the dentist’s chair but likely won’t remember much of the appointment, which can help eliminate any link between the dentist and a negative or painful time. 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends explicitly nitrous oxide as a safe and effective way to manage children’s dental anxiety. 

We also offer intravenous (IV) sedation for kids who have a very high level of fear. With this option, your child sleeps through their appointment as an anesthesiologist monitors them, which can be helpful for very fearful children, those who need a lengthy procedure, and kids with special needs.

Ultimately, we can help nervous children feel more comfortable at our office in several ways. To determine which type of sedation might be best for your child, call Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry or request an appointment online today.

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