Conscious Sedation for Children

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Does your child become anxious at the dentist? Conscious sedation for children has been developed as an answer to helping children relax and sit still long enough for the dentist.

dentist show a little girl how to properly brush your teeth

If needed, Dr. Abeyta might suggest any number of ways that make it easier for your child to receive the care they need without the anxiety. The child (or an adult) will still be conscious but much more relaxed. Several different options are available to the dentist including:

Medicine delivered by swallowing a pill or in a drink

• Injecting medicine as in a shot
• Intravenously injected
• Nitrous oxide gas

Let’s look at each of these separately.

Using Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is used for children or adults who are mildly or moderately anxious. This gas is mixed with oxygen and breathed through a mask. This mixture quickly calms almost everyone!

Nitrous oxide effects and mild and quickly eliminated from the body. While in the dentist’s chair, the patient will be awake and able to interact with everyone. Once the visit is over, the gas is shut off and the oxygen supplied helps clear out any remaining gas.

It is a good idea to provide light meals or even liquids only prior to their first visit in case the mask and/or the gas makes them nauseous. Of course, any sort of sinus congestion would make things more challenging as well.

Overall, nitrous oxide is a great conscious sedation for children.

Oral Sedation

For children more anxious, a stronger approach to conscious sedation is oral sedation. There are several medicines that are given by mouth. Oral sedation might make your child sleepy but they can be easily woken and will respond to simple commands. In a few cases, minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur.
These medicines (drugs) can also be given via the nose, using a suppository, by injection (shot) and even intravenously.

General Anesthesia

If your child is required to be unconscious for the dentist to safely complete the dental treatment, the general anesthesia is used. Although they are unconscious this is still called conscious sedation for children! Your child is unable to feel pain or to move around.

No matter which conscious sedation for children option Dr. Abeyta recommends please realize that she has many years’ experience and only does what is best for your child! Contact us if you have any questions at all!

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