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When to Consider Sedation Dentistry for Your Child

Dental anxiety involves a physical or psychological reaction to an anticipated visit to the dentist’s office. Something about the prospect of sitting in the dental chair evokes dread in up to 19% of the population. Kids are no exception.

At Smile Design Manhattan in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City, we help adults and kids feel more relaxed during their visits with sedation dentistry. Here’s when you should consider using sedation dentistry for your child.

What’s sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients stay calm and relaxed during dental appointments. The type of medication your child needs depends on the procedure being performed and the reason they need sedation. Options include:

Inhaled sedation

Patients inhale nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which helps them relax without going to sleep.

Oral sedation

This medication comes as a pill taken an hour before the procedure. Depending on the strength of the medicine, your child can recover from this at home.

IV sedation

For more serious procedures, the sedative can be injected directly into the veins for more immediate effect. With this option, your child also needs recovery time afterward.

Should you consider sedation dentistry for your child?

Here are a few occasions when you should consider sedation dentistry for your child:

When your child is extremely nervous or anxious 

If your child is unusually nervous or anxious about heading to the dentist, it can be difficult for them to receive the care they need. Sedation dentistry can help them feel calm and relaxed, leading to an effective visit.

When your child is having complex dental surgery

Even if your child isn’t anxious about their dental visit, sedation dentistry may be a good idea if they’re facing a complicated procedure that requires them to sit still for a long time. Sedation can help them remain still, which lowers the risk of pain or discomfort.

When your child has a strong gag reflex

A child with a strong gag reflex may find it hard to get treatment because they gag when dental tools go in their mouth. Sedation helps suppress this reflex.

When your child has special needs

For kids with special needs, sedation may be an excellent choice to keep them from becoming overwhelmed by everything around them.

If you have questions about sedation dentistry for your child, our team at Smile Design Manhattan is ready and willing to help. Call our office at 646-278-4579 today to schedule an appointment, or book your visit online.

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