This is why many parents choose to work with a sedation dentist when a child is facing a surgical procedure, such as an intervention to repair damage caused by an injury or a surgical tooth extraction of an impacted tooth.
A sedation dentist will give a child appropriate doses of intravenous anti-anxiety medications to help to relax the child, who will nonetheless remain semi-conscious throughout the procedure. With sedation, as opposed to full general anesthesia, the child continues to be able to respond to the surgeon’s demands, and the airway does not need to be maintained artificially.
Sedation can be safe for children, but sedation for children is not equivalent to sedation for adults. Oral surgeons who treat children with sedation take pediatric characteristics into consideration.
If you choose sedation for your child, select an oral surgeon with extensive experience working with pediatric patients. The dosages of the sedative medications will differ for smaller patients, and it’s important for the practitioner to be familiar with the protocols for sedation in pediatric patients.
Sedation has some risks for any patient, and children are no different. Be sure that the oral surgeon has complete health and medical information for your child so that the oral surgeon can determine if the child has any characteristics that may present an issue with sedation. Also discuss any pre-operative instructions with the surgeon in advance. Your child will need to alter his or her normal routine in the hours before the surgery with no food or drink for at least 8 hours.
Parents who have concerns about sedation for their children should thoroughly discuss these issues with an oral surgeon in advance of the procedure. It may give you reassurance that sedation is actually the best choice in your child’s case and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the best doctor for this choice.