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What You Need to Know about Sedation dentistry for Kids

sedation dentistry for kids

There are several different levels of sedation for kids’ dentistry. Some kids just need a little bit of laughing gas to take the edge off their stress, while others may even need IV sedation to help them stay calm.

Sedation dentistry for kids

It’s commonly known that many children are anxious about going to the dentist. Even when you find a pediatric dentist who offers a great experience in the waiting area and has a fantastic chairside manner, it’s possible that the child will still have dental anxiety. This is why sedation dentistry is recommended as an option for children who are especially anxious and hard to get relaxed enough to go through their dental procedure. Sedation dentistry is not for everyone. But it is a great option for some patients.

Sedation dentistry for kids involves providing your child the type of sedation that is best for helping them with their unique dental treatment and level of anxiety that they have.

We’ll look more at sedation dentistry for kids in Miami FL in just a moment, but first let’s take a moment and see what some of the experts of pediatric dentistry have to say.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) has reported that early childhood caries (ECC), otherwise known as cavities, are the single most common chronic disease of childhood (Dooley D et al., 2016).

It is also known that dental cavities in the first teeth children have, the milk teeth, can be a strong predictor of what their oral health will be like in the future. It often means that they will not have good oral health due to decay or poor alignment of the adult teeth (Dooley D et al., 2016).

Although we know the incidence of ECC is high in the United States, unfortunately children’s dental care is not something that is commonly addressed in the country (Dooley D et al., 2016).

sedation dentistry for kids

Is IV sedation safe for kids or special needs? Sedation dentistry Miami FL

Generally speaking, IV sedation is safe. When a child is requiring this level of sedation when visiting the dentist, there will be multiple professionals in the room with your child to ensure that their blood pressure and blood oxygen levels remain at appropriate levels.

Your dentist or oral surgeon will not be alone of the room trying to both perform the dental procedure as well as monitor your child’s vital signs. Most children tolerate IV sedation well and wake up from the procedure without remembering what happened and thus they don’t have a chance to build up their fears.

What are the benefits of sedation dentistry? Sedation dentistry for kids near me

Sedation for dental procedures has a number of positive benefits. The most significant is that your child is able to get dental care without anxiety. This means that they will no longer dread their dental visits to the pediatric dental clinic and instead will be able to get the treatment they need with less stress on both you and your child.

The sedatives administered range from the most mild oral sedation which can be monitored by the dentist or oral surgeon while they do the dental procedure up to using nitrous oxide or laughing gas. These are known as conscious sedation methods in which your child will still be awake and able to respond to requests from the dentist or oral surgeon, but they will be much more at ease and will not be nervous about going to the dentist.

If your child has more extensive dental needs, they may instead get IV sedation or even general anesthesia if oral surgery is required. These are more powerful sedatives which especially in the case of general anesthesia will have your child sleep during the procedure and thus they will have no recollection of what happened.

Sedation dentistry is also beneficial for special needs children who may have sensory processing issues and can feel more anxious than peers of a similar age.

Is sedation dentistry ethical? Sedation dentistry Miami

Sedition dentistry is ethical in that the there are several organizations that provide stringent guidelines that pediatric dentists and oral surgeons must follow in order to do sedation dentistry properly. If you have any questions, you should feel confident asking your dentist about what they use and what kinds of safeguards they have in place so that you will know that your child is well cared for.

Not every child will need sedation dentistry when they go to the dentist. This is why choosing a pediatric dentist is so important. Your pediatric dentist is an expert at making sure that your child understands what will happen, is able to see the equipment and know what it will do, and that they will not be afraid.

Does IV sedation hurt? Sedation dentistry for kids

Typically, IV sedation in and of itself will not hurt. This is because your child will be mostly asleep during the dental procedure. There may be some pain that your child will experience once the sedative wears off, especially if they had to have significant dental work or oral surgery.

The benefit from sedation is that your child will not have a memory of the procedure nor will they be in pain during the process. This is why sedation dentistry is recommended for children who are especially fearful so that they will not have painful memories of going to the dentist and will think of dentists as positive places to go.

Oral health is so important, as it is the first step in the digestive process. Being able to eat properly means that your body or your child’s body will be better able to properly digest food and obtain the nutrients that they need. Also, oral health is so important for self-esteem. If your child has broken or missing teeth, or teeth that are badly decayed, they will not be confident in speaking or smiling. Decayed teeth can also lead to halitosis which also will make your child less confident.


Dooley, D., Moultrie, N. M., Heckman, B., Gansky, S. A., Potter, M. B., & Walsh, M. M. (2016). Oral health Prevention and Toddler Well-Child Care: Routine Integration in a Safety Net System. Pediatrics137(1), e20143532.


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Hard Truths About Kids Sedation dentistry in Miami, FL