A visit to the family dentist should be a positive ordeal for both the child and his family. Shockingly this isn’t generally the case, particularly when a child has been diagnosed to have multiple cavities. Pediatric dentists have been trained to use different behavior guidance techniques that allow the majority of their young patients to receive care in the office without experiencing much fear and pain. However, there are patients that require more advanced techniques in order for them to be able to tolerate treatment.
Sedation can help increase cooperation and reduce pain and anxiety associated with dental treatment. Sedation dentistry can allow these patients to receive comprehensive, safe and comfortable care in the dental office and is often practiced in dentistry for children. This can help children develop a positive attitude towards dental care in the future. The following information will help you decide whether sedation dentistry is appropriate for your child’s care and what should know in order to prepare for his sedation visit.
Comprehend the essential objectives of sedation
Fear of the dentist poses a boundary to an effective dental treatment. An abnormal state of tension may not just meddle with your child’s comfort level, but it may also jeopardize the overall safety and quality of the care that is delivered. Thus, sedation may be recommended.
Understand the various types of sedation
Dentists can use various techniques for providing anxiety and pain control in patients during dental treatment. While pediatric dentists routinely use psychological techniques, there are instances where the use of adjunctive medications is necessary. Different types of sedatives may be used. These medications can be administered in different ways, including orally (by drinking a small amount of liquid), intravenously (through an IV line), or intramuscularly (through a quick injection).
Sedation is a broad term and the effects fall along a continuous spectrum ranging from mild, moderate to deep sedation. In some cases, in-office sedation may be too limiting and your dentist may recommend general anesthesia in a facility outside of the dental office as a more appropriate method of treatment for your child. Your dentist will determine what level of sedation will be necessary in order to fully complete your child’s dental needs. Make sure you have a dentist who is experienced in dentistry for children.
Do give your dentist an accurate health history
In order to safely determine if sedation is right for your child, his overall health status will be heavily considered. Your dentist will ask about your child’s general health and do a review of systems, especially paying close attention to any respiratory-related problems such as asthma or sleep apnea. A thorough history of hospitalizations and surgeries will also be documented as well as details about any prescribed medications your child is currently taking.
Follow all of your dentist’s special instructions
It is essential to follow all of your dentist’s instructions before the visit. Typically your dentist will require a strict fasting protocol in the hours before the sedation. These guidelines are designed for the maximum safety of your child. Pay close attention to your dentist’s requirements for the consumption of food and liquids before the appointment. Some of the medications used for sedation may have the potential to change the way your child’s airway reacts, especially during deeper sedation periods. Though adverse reactions are rare, it’s still prudent for your child to have an empty stomach to eliminate any complications that may occur with vomiting