A trip to the dental clinic can cause some children to become quite anxious. In some cases, the anxiety will become so severe they struggle to cooperate with their dental provider. This can interfere with the essential dental care your child needs. To help children who experience dental anxiety, we provide sedation options to ensure they can relax throughout the procedure. The sedation options used at OC Kids Dental do not render your child unconscious. Instead, Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will help them relax and remain calm throughout the whole procedure.
Understanding Pediatric Dental Sedation
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has provided a set of sedation guidelines to ensure the safety and effectiveness of dental sedation. When they are performed by a trained professional, there are very few risks associated with undergoing dental sedation. This process is an important part of helping children prone to dental anxiety receive the dental care they need. The degree of sedation used depends on multiple factors:
- Severity of the patient’s anxiety
- Patient’s tolerance for sedation
- Parent’s knowledge and consent
- Severity of the patient’s condition
While you may sometimes hear sedation dentistry referred to as ‘sleep dentistry,’ this can be misleading. The majority of dental sedation options, especially those for pediatric care, do not include general anesthesia. While general anesthesia may be used for certain conditions in older patients, it’s rarely needed for childhood dental conditions.
At OK Kids Dental, we provide a few sedation options for patients with dental anxiety. These options include:
- Inhaled Minimal Sedation – This form of dental sedation involves the use of nitrous oxide. You may be familiar with this as laughing gas. This sedative is administered using a mask placed over the face that delivers the sedation gas at a set rate. Dr. Mazar-Atabaki can adjust the flow rate throughout the procedure to meet the patient’s needs. Your child will be lucid and clear from all sedative effects within a few minutes of the mask being removed.
- Oral Sedation – Small oral doses of a pill known as Halcion helps to ease the patient’s nerves. It is part of the Valium family of medications and takes about an hour to set in. Your child will become drowsy but will be awake throughout the procedure.
In addition to these forms of sedation, it’s common for Dr. Mazar-Atabaki to administer a local anesthetic to the treatment site. While the sedation methods listed above address nerves and anxiety, they aren’t effective for managing discomfort. As a result, your child will also get a local anesthetic to numb the treatment site.
If you are in or near Aliso Viejo and would like to better understand the use of sedation during your child’s visits, please contact Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s pediatric dental office to address any concerns or schedule an appointment to find out if sedation is a suitable option for your child. We look forward to providing your child with excellent dental care for years to come at OK Kids Dental.
Another alternative for helping nervous children relax at the dentist’s office is the use of sedation. When your child becomes so anxious hat cooperating becomes difficult for them, sedation is an option. Sedation is a method in which medications are used to help your child relax during the dental visit and allow the doctor to effectively treat your child. Sedations tend to produce feelings of drowsiness and relaxation and are not meant to make your child unconscious.
Sedation is also a way to for the dentist to provide more effective treatment along with preventing that may result from uncontrolled movements in an anxious, uncooperative child.
When administered according to the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry by a pediatric dentist, sedation is a safe, effective option. If you live in or around Aliso Viejo and are interested in learning more about the use of sedation during your child’s visits please contact Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s pediatric dental office to answer any of your questions or schedule an appointment to find out if sedation is a suitable option for your child.« Space Maintainers Dental Sealants »