Children can experience extreme anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist for routine dental checkups or treatments like tooth extractions and fillings. Modern dentistry offers sedation dentistry to help your child remain calm and comfortable during dental appointments and procedures.
While sedation comes in various forms, oral sedation is a popular choice for pediatric dental care. However, many parents are often curious about whether it can put their child to sleep. This article explores oral sedation and what to expect during the appointment.
Generally, sedation is using sedative drugs to relax or calm a patient during dental appointments. It’s commonly necessary for procedures that can cause anxiety or discomfort, such as tooth extractions, oral surgery, and dental fillings. The levels of sedation can range from minimal sedation to general anesthesia, where a patient can be awake or completely unconscious.
Oral sedation is a conscious sedation often administered through oral sedative drugs in a pill or liquid form. It makes administering it easier to children than IV sedation, which requires injections and can trigger further anxiety.
Oral sedatives are taken about one hour before the expected procedure, allowing your child to arrive at the procedure already in a calm and relaxed state. The dosage given for oral sedation depends on your kid’s anxiety level and the procedure type. Its effects can range from minimal to moderate.
Whether oral sedation will put your child to sleep mainly depends on the dosage. While it’s not intended to cause deep sleepiness like general anesthesia, sometimes oral sedation can cause significant drowsiness and relaxation, causing your child to fall asleep. Higher doses are likely to cause sleepiness, while lower dosages may only keep your child relaxed but fully awake.
In most cases, many people feel a deep relaxation but remain conscious under oral sedation. Even if they fall asleep, the dentist can easily wake them up with a gentle shake, and they can respond to the dentist’s cues. Your child may not remember anything during the treatment once the sedation effects wear off.
The benefits of using oral sedation for pediatric procedures include the following:
Since oral sedation effects might take time to wear off, your child may still feel disoriented or drowsy for a few hours. Appropriate aftercare is essential to ensure the child’s safety and comfort. Below are tips for caring for your child after oral sedation:
Visit our office for pediatric sedation dentistry near you.
Do you need more information about oral sedation for pediatric dental care? Contact Sunny Smiles Kids to speak with our dentist in 92014.