Sedation dentistry for children is needed for the following reasons:
- Child is afraid or uncooperative
- Child has many problems requiring an extended treatment time
The following options exist for sedation dentistry for children:
- An oral medication is given 30 minutes to an hour prior to treatment and your child will feel relaxed, forgetful, and maybe a little sleepy
- An anesthesiologist comes to the dentist's office and provides IV sedation
- Your child and the dentist go to a hospital and the dentistry is done in an operating room
Together, you and your child's dentist can decide on the most suitable form of sedation.
Many parents express concern about the safety of sedation dentistry and also the cost. First, sedation dentistry is very safe and has a long track record of safety. The cost for sedation dentistry varies depending upon the method used and the dentist. Sometimes insurance will pay for the costs of sedation dentistry. Some parents might wonder, "What's the big deal, they're just baby teeth."
Taking care of baby teeth or primary teeth is important for the following reasons:
- Healthy baby teeth are needed to chew properly. Children with broken and missing baby teeth may have difficulty eating many nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, meats, and nuts.
- Cavities in baby teeth can cause pain that interferes with a good nights rest. This can lead to a child that has difficulty in school and possibly other behavioral problems.
- Healthy baby teeth are needed to maintain the space for permanent teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, the space for the permanent tooth will shrink. When its time for the permanent tooth to come in there may not be room. Braces may be needed for a longer time.
- Cavities in baby teeth can lead to serious infections, that can even be life-threatening.
As you can hopefully see, those baby teeth are very important. Providing the necessary dental care for your child might require sedation. That's o.k. In the future,they'll be a better dental patient after a positive dental experience.
Article written by Jonathan Campbell, DDS. Dr. Campbell is a dentist in Salt Lake City who offers sedation dentistry to adults. While he really enjoys working on kids, if your child has extensive needs or requires sedation, Dr. Campbell feels these children would be best served by a pediatric dentist. If you need a referral, he'd be happy to make one.