National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is coming up on May 7. This day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and show that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development. We understand the anxieties that are associated with going to the dentist. We have a passion for providing a positive dental experience at a young age that can cultivate a lifetime of good oral care.
A common practice for helping to ease dental anxiety in children is called sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry helps patients feel calm, relaxed and at ease during dental procedures. Other than general anesthesia, most forms of sedation dentistry are referred to as conscious sedation dentistry or “twilight sleep.” It creates a state of short-term amnesia where you experience insensitivity to pain without the loss of consciousness.
Types of Sedation
There are three forms of sedation used when it comes to sedation dentistry:
- Nitrous oxide sedation: This is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask over your child’s nose. Sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is one option your dentist may offer to help make your child more comfortable during certain procedures.
- Oral sedation: This involves medication administered upon arrival to the office allowing your child to get comfortable and the medication to take effect before the procedure begins. Children are awake during the procedure but many have very little memory of the visit. Falling asleep during the procedure is common, but they are responsive to a gentle shake. Our providers who offer oral sedation are certified by the Board of Dentistry in their state.
- Hospital sedation: For children who may have a difficult time receiving treatment in a dental practice, many of our providers offer the opportunity for your child to visit a surgery center or hospital to receive care. Under general anesthesia, patients will be asleep and cared for by a team of professionals.
The type of sedation treatment that is best for your child will be carefully determined by their dental care provider. If you think your child would benefit from sedation dentistry, reach out to your dentist to find out more about it and discuss the options available at your practice. We want your kids to love coming to see us!