Is Dental Sedation Safe for Your Child?

We are the Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

When your young one is having a dental procedure done, you might be struggling with the choice of whether or not to sedate them. You want to prevent them from feeling any trauma and pain from the dental procedure, but you also don’t want to put their safety into question. That can leave you questioning whether dental sedation is right for your child.

The good news is that sedating a patient is almost always a safe procedure. There are ways to sedate your little one that are completely effective and come with very minimal risk. If you use the lowest level of sedation, you can save your little one the anxiety of sitting in the dentist’s chair, and you can also relax, knowing that they are safe.

little girl in the dentists chair

What Type is Right for Your Child?

The major types of sedation used for dental procedures are oral sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation.

  • Oral sedation is a type of sedation procedure where a child takes medicine by mouth (orally) before the procedure. It takes about 20 minutes to work, allowing the child to relax and usually fall asleep; they can easily be awakened, and there is very little risk involved.
  • Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, keeps children quiet and calm during a dental procedure. A mask is placed over their mouths, and they breathe in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. While it gives your child a feeling of euphoria, it also means they will not remember the procedure or feel anything as the procedure is happening. Towards the end of the treatment, the mask will deliver just oxygen, and your child will be good to go home without any residual effects.
  • To sedate a patient with IV sedation, they must have an IV line inserted, and an anesthesiologist must be present throughout the entire procedure. Once the IV line is placed the child is delivered medication intravenously and then monitored throughout the procedure.

Depending on what your child is having done and how extensive the treatment is, your dentist will make a recommendation about which type of sedation is best. A good rule of thumb is to weigh the benefits of sedation against the risks. It is always best to use the least risky sedation method possible for the biggest benefit.

Although choosing sedation might seem scary, many methods are safe and put your child at very little risk. The benefit to their psyche and to establishing a positive experience with the dentist is imperative to establishing good oral hygiene and health for a lifetime.

St. Louis Sedation Dentistry

At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we are the Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area. When you and your child come in for your appointment, Dr. Hoffmann, Dr. Thoms, or Dr. Behl will decide which option is the best for your child, depending on their anxiety level and cooperation.

Call Us Today

The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844
Updated: November 2, 2022

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