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What to Know About Dental Sedation for Children

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Though most children will not need to have major dental work that requires sedation, some may have to. For example, your child may have autism or severe anxiety issue that would make normal dental work difficult for them. In these cases, and cases of oral surgery, your children's dentist may make a suggestion of using dental sedation. There are several misconceptions when it comes to this option for children. Here are a few things you should know about dental sedation and your children before you choose the option. 

Types of Dental Sedation

The first thing you need to know about dental sedation when it comes to your children are the available types. Sedation comes in three forms. The first and most common is oral sedation. Oral sedation may take longer, but it is generally the easiest way to sedate your child before they arrive at the children's dentist. If you do not feel comfortable with this option, there are two other options. One is to go with a nitrous oxide which is delivered through a mask into the breathing system. The other option is an intravenous that can be given in the form of an IV drip or a shot.

Food Restriction

A difficult aspect of having your child undergo dental sedation is to restrict their food and water intake. In order for the children's dentist to give your child dental sedation, you must stop food and water for a certain duration of time before the appointment. In many cases, this is 12 hours before the appointment. This means you would need to stop allowing your child to eat or drink at bedtime and up to the appointment time. You will have to keep a close eye on them in the morning to ensure they do not eat or drink before the appointment.

Side Effects

There are a few side effects that may occur following dental sedation. Vomiting and fatigue may occur. Your child may also not be able to eat solid foods for at least a day. You will also find that your child may sleep longer and have issues with speech or with cognitive-related issues. If you start to notice shortness of breath or severe vomiting, take your child to the emergency room immediately.

These are just a few of the things you should know about dental sedation when it comes to your children. When you discuss this option with your children's dentist, make sure to let the dentist know of any issues your child has with sedation or coming out of sedation. If your child has never had sedation, make sure your dentist is aware of this so that they can prepare for possible side effects as the sedation wears off.