3 Types of Children’s Sedation Dentistry

July 3, 2019 Mitten Kids Dentistry

Grand Rapids, MI Pediatric Sedation Dentists

Does your child dread going to the dentist? While most children grow out of dental anxiety, some may benefit from being sedated so they can receive the dental care they need for a healthy smile. 

Our pediatric dentists in Grand Rapids, MI offer laughing gas, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Continue reading to learn how sedation dentistry can help your child feel at ease in the dentist’s chair.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a branch of oral care that specializes in giving patients relief from stress and pain through sedation. Depending on your child’s situation, you and their pediatric dentist may decide on any of the three sedation tactics: laughing gas, oral sedation, and IV sedation. 

All three methods have their place within sedation dentistry. However, your child’s medical history and other unique factors will determine the right choice.

Laughing Gas

Laughing gas is safe for patients of all ages because your child is aware and awake during the procedure. If your child has a dental phobia, their dentist may recommend laughing gas to help them relax in the chair. 

We’ll gently place a mask over your child’s nose and tell them to breathe deeply. It only takes a few moments for the laughing gas to start working.

Unlike other types of sedation dentistry, laughing gas is quick to wear off. This means your child will be able to return to school or daycare after their appointment.

Laughing gas carries the least risk compared to other sedation methods. Any side effects stop once the mask is removed. Laughing gas can be used for everything from teeth cleanings to dental sealants. However, keep in mind that invasive procedures will need more than laughing gas to dull the pain.

Oral Sedation

The pediatric dentist will need to write a prescription if they determine oral sedation is best for your child’s upcoming procedure. Since oral sedation makes your child feel drowsy, you’ll need to monitor them after their appointment until the medication completely leaves their system.

Your child’s safety is always our first priority, which is why we give you thorough instructions so you know what to expect. Depending on the medication your child is prescribed, they may have to abstain from food and drink 8 hours before their appointment. For this reason, many parents schedule their children’s appointments in the morning.

Oral sedation may make your child drowsy enough to fall asleep. However, we’ll be able to easily shake your child awake if we need them to cooperate with the dentist. For example, we may ask your child during the procedure to tilt their head so we can better access a tooth.

If your child receives oral sedation, you’ll need to keep them home from school or daycare after their appointment. You’ll need to supervise your child for the rest of the day while the medication wears off.

IV Sedation

For IV sedation dentistry, we insert an IV line into a vein in the crook of your child’s arm. The IV line will provide a steady flow of medication that ensures your child’s unconscious state for the entire procedure.

Sedation dentistry can help your child feel safe and secure while in the dentist’s chair, without the stress and pain. We closely monitor your child’s vital signs and ensure they are breathing properly through an oxygen mask.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Brett & Dr. Grady and their team are dedicated to helping your child maintain a healthy smile. To schedule your child’s appointment with our Grand Rapids pediatric dentists, call (616) 942-9840.

Related Blog Posts

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How General Anesthesia Works for Pediatric Dental Patient

Is Laughing Gas Safe for My Child?

How to Help Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist

This blog post has been updated.

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