Special needs children often have to be sedated or require anesthesia to get their dental work done efficiently. When your child’s appointment approaches, it is natural for parents to become uneasy. There are many questions that come to mind and wanting to know what to expect when your child undergoes the anesthesia. How it is administered, how the child will experience the process, and how you should prepare for the procedure and take care of the child afterwards often top the list. There are many circumstances when anesthesia is utilized to help your child get the dental work they need to maintain healthy oral care. Today we at Smile Reef would like to elaborate on the use of the anesthesia.
Pediatric Dental Sedation Guidelines
Pediatric dentists that routinely care for children, especially those with special needs, often have an Anesthesiologist they use and trust to help them achieve their dental procedures. To help the child feel drowsy, the general anesthesiologist will give the child some oral medication first. From there, the child is put completely to sleep when the anesthesiologist starts an IV and administers the right dosage of drugs. While the pediatric dentist provides all necessary treatment, the anesthesiologist monitors the child’s breathing and vital signs once the child is completely asleep. The biggest advantage to the anesthesia is that they are sleeping throughout the dental procedures and they will not have any traumatizing association to getting dental work. In many instances the medications used will help the child forget about the whole event during the dental experience. All treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done more efficiently while the child is asleep and immobile which helps the experience go by smoothly without the traumatic and seemingly scary activities going on around the child to be affected.
Preparing Your Child for Anesthesia
Generally, the dentists that suggest the help of an anesthesiologist will schedule the procedure coherent with both of their schedules. Instructions are frequently given to the parents on how to prepare the night before the procedure. A medical history and pertinent information is often asked prior to the appointment so that the right choice of anesthetic medicines is used to better fit the individual child’s needs. Typically, you will be instructed on what your child can eat or drink before the procedure. Usually, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. However, specific instructions based on your child’s age, medical condition, and the time of day of the procedure will be given. Eating is not allowed because of the effects anesthesia medicines have. The body normally has reflexes that prevent food from being aspirated, or inhaled, into the lungs when it’s swallowed or regurgitated, or thrown up. The medicines can suspend these reflexes, which could cause food to become inhaled into the lungs if there is vomiting or regurgitation under anesthesia. In some cases, clear liquids may be permitted, or specific medications may be given a few prior to the appointment. Answer the anesthesiologist’s questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible to ensure the child’s safety. What you may think is harmless can have poor interactions with the anesthesia.
If you have any questions regarding the anesthesia, you have ample opportunity to consult the anesthesiologist. If you feel your child may batter benefit from being sedated for their dental procedure, make an appointment with Smile Reef today to discuss your child’s needs.
Anyone, but particularly children, can have a difficult time going to the dentist. Children in general can find the stranger wearing a mask to perform intrusive procedures intimidating. Not understanding the situation, it can be difficult for the dentist to conduct dental needs safely and effectively. Children with special needs, low attention spans, and natural phobias can have even more of a difficult time with dental visits. Under going sedation prior to dental procedures can be an optimal solution, many kids, no matter the circumstances, can still benefit from sedation dentistry services. With that in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to take the opportunity to discuss sedation dentistry for children.
Conscious Oral Sedation VS IV Sedation Drugs
Sedation dentistry is a great alternative to stressful situations and uncooperativeness stemming from high anxiety. For kids that are overwhelmed and frightened of the prospects of visiting the dentist’s office, sedation therapy is a safe and effective method to provide the dental treatments they need without adding more kindle to the fire, so to speak. Below you will find a few common techniques to sedate the little ones for dentist work.
– Oral Sedatives. For children with high anxiety, oral sedatives are a recommended prescription. Ideal for routine checkups, or single cavity fillings, this medication is taken about 45 minutes prior to their appointment. They are fully conscious and aware of their surroundings and depending on the procedure, may still need a local anesthetic to avoid pain. The sedating medication takes the edge off their anxiety to be in a relaxed state.
– Nitrous Oxide. A stronger method than oral sedation, this approach is recommended for kids with moderate dental phobias. Nitrous oxide is an odorless and tasteless gas that puts children in a conscious sedation during their procedures; as it is inhaled just before their dental treatments begin. The gas is worn off within a couple of hours and has no lingering effects.
– Intravenous Sedation. This method is recommended for children with extreme dental phobias or those that require intensive dental treatments. Your child is always supervised as a qualified staff member monitors the heart rate and blood pressure through the duration of the procedure. Just before treatment starts, an IV injected imposes a benzodiazepine agent into the bloodstream.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Below are just some of the benefits you and your child receive in sedation dentistry.
1) Your child can avoid excessive appointments to the dentist as sedation dentistry allows the dentist to complete more procedures where necessary.
2) It is often challenging for children that have behavioral or emotional disorders present as well as those with special needs to sit still long enough to give the dentist an opportunity to fulfill their tasks. Taking advantage of sedation dentistry can help these unique kids get the dentist care they need without undue hardships.
3) With sedation dentistry, children who have a sensitive gag reflex, especially where dental needs are concerned, can benefit as the gag reflex is suppressed, and the dentist can use their tools efficiently; avoiding your child from being self conscious or embarrassed.
4) The memory of sedation dental procedures inadvertently blocks the memory of the visit. Over time your child may not have to endure sedation for dental treatments; overcoming their fears.
5) Not only just sedating your child, but also paralyzing the nerve endings, the nitrous oxide relieves any pain inflicted during dental procedures.
Child Sedation Dentistry
If you want to further discuss the option to sedate your child during their dental procedure, call Smile Reef today!