I don’t think of my son as bad, but he is wiggly. I think that’s pretty normal in a six-year-old boy. However, the dentist noticed a cavity and he wants to fill it before it gets too big. Something about it being a molar. Then he wants to seal the tooth. He says he’ll need to be sedated. Is that really necessary? Is it safe in children?
I know the idea of our children being sedated can be frightening. However, dental sedation is perfectly safe. While every procedure has risks, dental sedation is conscious sedation. He’ll be able to communicate the whole time, though most children just fall asleep.
There are two levels of sedation usually used on children. The first level is nitrous oxide. It’s simple a gas mixture that relaxes him. This is actually my recommendation for your son if he’s cooperative but wiggly. He’ll probably fall asleep, but when the procedure is over, they just change the gas mixture and he wakes up and is back to his normal wiggly self, able to function as he normally would.
The second level is oral conscious sedation. This is designed for people (adults and children) who have either severe dental anxiety or have a more invasive procedure. It is safe, but I tend to do the lesser level of sedation if it’s adequate.
Benefits of Dental Sedation
- Your son will be completely relaxed throughout the procedure
- No negative experiences at the dentist which cause him to fear the dentist
- The dentist can get more work done at each appointment
Questions to ask a Sedation Dentist
- Will you have someone in the room with him at all times (besides yourself)?
- Will his vital signs be monitored the whole procedure if using oral conscious sedation?
- Do you have emergency protocols in place?
This blog is brought to you by Lexington Kentucky Dentist Dr. John Weaver.