Not each child needs sedation

Sedation is successful for a healthy child who had unsuccessful dental treatment in the past because of tension or fear. It also is indicated for children who are unable to cooperate for treatment because they are either too young or have special needs. Furthermore, if your child has particularly extensive dental needs, then sedation may allow all the treatment to be safely completed in very few visits.


Not every child reacts in the same way to the sedation

Children may respond very differently to sedation. The effects can vary from one child to the next. Your child may become very relaxed by the medication and may even fall asleep during the procedure. However, it is also possible that the medications may not have a profound effect on your child and he may react negatively throughout the treatment. This can be attributed to an array of factors. If sedation is unsuccessful then your dentist will discuss various alternatives with you. She may want to try again but increase the dose of the medication or use a different sedative altogether. In some cases, other modalities may be recommended such as deeper sedation or general anesthesia.

Do not rush into a decision

It is very normal to feel slightly uncomfortable when sedation is recommended for your child. While sedation is becoming much more common in the dental treatment of children, most parents don’t fully understand what it entails. This is why your dentist will always do a thorough consultation with you before booking the treatment appointment. This should outline the necessary information you will need to make an informed decision about proceeding. This is the time to ask all the questions you have and to explore all the areas that you are concerned about. It also may be helpful to have other family members accompany you to the consultation so that they also understand what to expect.

Watch out for any symptoms in your child after the treatment

Your child must be healthy for his sedation visit. Any changes in health status, recent illness, fevers, or periods of coughing can place your child at an increased risk for complications during his procedure. Changes should be reported promptly so that your dentist may decide if it is necessary to reschedule the treatment. Even if his cold may not seem like a problem, it is not worth putting your child’s life at risk just to have his dental work completed. Furthermore, your child will have a more positive experience during and after treatment if he is rested, relaxed, healthy and comfortable.


Do not forget that there are always risks involved

There are always inherent risks involved with sedation and anesthesia. It is usually safe, though, when an experienced and qualified dentist administers the sedation. Most pediatric dentists have had additional years of training in sedation and emergency rescue techniques. These dentists will also adhere strictly to the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, which includes consistent monitoring of your child’s vital signs throughout the procedure using the required equipment. In some cases, an anesthesiologist may be involved to provide an additional level of safety.


There are many methods of delivering safe, effective and humane dental treatment for your child. Sedation dentistry is one technique that can help eliminate the experience of anxiety and pain thus helping to not only achieve the best quality of care but also help him be better able to cope with going to the dentist at future visits. This way, going to the dentist will always be fun and positive rather than scary and painful. Learning all about sedation dentistry can help you decide whether it is right for your child and it can help you best prepare him for the experience.