young boy reclining in dental chair receiving sedation

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?

Team Pediatric Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry

Is your child nervous about going to the dentist? Does your child need to have a dental procedure, such as a filling or a tooth extraction? In these cases, dentists may recommend sedation. 

While Sedation dentistry is part of normal dental care, many parents wonder whether or not it is safe for their children. There are a few sedation options, all of which are completely safe for most children. Prior to scheduling any sedation procedure the dentist will discuss risks, benefits, and alternatives including how it relates to your child’s health conditions.

Types of Sedation Used at Capital Kids Dentistry:

At Capital Kids Dentistry we offer two types of sedation:  

  • Nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that relaxes the child. The child breathes it in through a tube over the nose and it begins working in just seconds. Once the nitrous oxide is turned off, the child breathes in oxygen and begins to feel normal. This is one of the safest types of sedation, allowing the child to return to normal activities immediately following their procedure.
  • General anesthesia. For patients that need more significant treatment or have high dental anxiety, general anesthesia may be required or recommended. General anesthesia can be provided safely in the office with a dental anesthesiologist. 

What Types of Health Conditions May Impact Sedation Safety?

No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, always discuss your child’s preexisting health conditions, including medications and allergies, with your dentist prior to any dental appointment.

Here are a few other medical conditions that could be contraindications to nitrous oxide or deeper sedation: recent middle ear disturbances/surgery, treatment with bleomycin sulfate, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency, or cobalamin (Vit B-12) deficiency. 

Breathing issues, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, heart conditions can be especially concerning for anesthesia and should be reported directly to your dentist.

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry Outweigh the Risks in Most Cases

If you’re concerned about sedation dentistry, it is important to weigh the risk versus the benefit. Unless your child has a severe health condition that would make sedation dentistry risky, it is most likely a worthwhile option. Sedation helps children to relax and receive the dental care they need without added anxiety, fear, or pain. They will be more cooperative and even have less anxiety toward future dental appointments. 

Capital Kids Dentistry Provides Sedation Options

If your child is extremely anxious or requires a complex dental procedure, sedation can be helpful and is sometimes necessary. Capital Kids Dentistry provides a range of sedation options that are perfectly safe for most children. Please disclose your child’s complete health history so that we can make sure sedation is a safe option. 

Call 202-545-7200 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment. We look forward to taking the anxiety out of dentistry for your child with safe sedation options.