Sedation for Children
At The Kid’s Dentist, we believe that no two children are the same, and should never be treated as such. In the same way, each child will react a whole lot differently to having to sit through a dental procedure. There are a tremendous amount of nerve endings in your mouth, and an uncomfortable child is likely to be uncooperative because of this.
In these cases, different sedation methods are necessary in order to operate on your child in a way that is safe for them. In certain cases, it may even be appropriate to use certain types of medication. We have many different ways of dealing with these issues and relaxing kids so that they can be in as much ease as possible during their dental procedures, but it’s always important, as a parent, to arm yourself with the knowledge of sedation methods and how they work!
Types of Sedation
Also frequently referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is the most common form of sedation used by dentists around the world since 1844. It is a very light anesthesia that is usually mixed with oxygen to make a very safe respiratory sedative.
Chloral hydrate is a hypnotic sedative that is meant to induce drowsiness and, in some cases, put the patient to sleep. While it isn’t quite as popular in dentistry, it is often used for CAT scans and MRIs. One positive effect of chloral hydrate is that it will relieve anxiety in the patient.
Meperidine is technically a narcotic analgesic, but don’t let the word narcotic scare you. This synthetic opioid was designed as a pain reliever that effects the brain and the nervous system in a way that reduces the potency of reactors that measure pain. While that sounds intimidating, it is actually quite safe.
A very effective benzodiazepine, midazolam is a drug that is designed to relieve anxiety, cause retrograde amnesia, and put the patient in a relaxed state. To accomplish these effects, the brain triggers effects in the brain that relaxes the muscle system and produces melatonin.
What You Can Do
One of the most powerful tools to get your child in a cooperative state is good communication. While our dentists and personnel can make strides in this, it begins with the parents using positive reinforcement while they are at the dentist’s office. Keeping your child calm and comfortable while they prepare for the procedure will put them in a good place for us to begin our work.
Sometimes, depending on the child, this information might even be helpful to ease their mind when it comes to the dental process. If you think that this sounds like your child, then going over some of this information that you now know with them might be just the thing to keep them calm and understanding during the process.