Sedation for Children: Is it Safe at All?

Sedation for ChildrenSmall children have an inherent fear of the dentist. Who can blame them when some adults still get nervous when they sit in a dentist’s chair? It is only natural that a child will feel anxious the first time they see those strange tools.

If it is your child’s first dental operation, it might be necessary for them to undergo sedation to calm their nerves and ensure that the dental procedure is a success. But is sedation safe for children?

Types of Sedation

Many sedation dentists in Reading note that there are several types of sedative practices in the realm of dentistry. The two commonly used ones are intravenous sedation and inhalation sedation.

As the name suggests, intravenous sedation has the drug administered directly into the patient’s bloodstream. The effect is fast, which is why it is often the suggested form of sedation for both adults and children. The administered sedation itself is safe and closely monitored by the dental practitioner.

A common mistake people make is thinking IV sedation also acts as a painkiller. While there are some painkillers in the IV sedative, painkillers are still necessary so the child does not experience any pain during operation. Usually, the dentist will wait until the sedative takes full effect before administering the painkiller.

Inhalation sedation is a ‘lighter’ form of sedation, popularly known as ‘sleeping gas’ or ‘happy air’. The sedative itself is a mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide, which your child will breathe in. Contrary to popular belief, it does not put the patient to sleep; instead, it relaxes them and makes them feel slightly drowsy.

Which One should You Choose?

Both forms of sedation are safe to use on children, but there are some small differences between the two. IV sedation is fast-acting and only takes a few seconds or minutes to completely take effect. On the other hand, inhalation sedation takes slightly longer to kick in.

Your child may be understandably scared to get the IV sedation since it involves needles and injections. In cases like this, inhalation sedation is an acceptable alternative and may even be a silly experience for them since the effect of the gas makes them feel ticklish and floating.

Consult your dentist to figure out which kind of sedation is ideal for your child. Both forms of sedation are completely safe; it all boils down to which one you and your child prefers.