Dentists and Forms of Conscious Sedation

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Dentists and doctor's clinic have always been source of anxiety among young children apprehensive to dental drilling and injections. Well in case of dentists, such a child may become restless and may not sit still. In such situations, the dentist is not able to perform the required procedure. Such anxious and hyperactive children are usually given a medicine (sedative) to help them relax or sleepy and the doctor is able to carry out the required procedure.

Conscious sedation has its very own benefits as although it makes the child relaxed or sleepy but at the same time the child is able to respond to the voices. Normally conscious sedation is made use of at the timer a child needs a number of dental procedures. The dentist is the best person to decide what type of conscious sedation would suit your child. Conscious sedation is given in many ways like - in form of gas inhalation, orally (syrup or pill), injection, or intravenously.

Laughing gas or nitrous oxide is used frequently for mildly to moderately anxious or nervous children. The inhaled gas relaxes them by easing their fears and they are able to allow the treatment comfortably and safely. A mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is carried through a mask over the nose. The child is asked to breathe through the nose and the gas begins to work by making the child less restless and anxious. The effects of nitrous oxide are very mild, safe, and it is quickly removed from the body causing only conscious sedation where the child continues to be awake and responds to the dentist's queries and instructions. After turning the gas off, sedation wears off quickly. The dentist may give oxygen for a few minutes to your child to help in flushing out any remaining gas after the treatment is completed.

The disadvantage of nitrous oxide is that it can make your child feel nauseous. The doctor usually advises to give only light meal or plain liquids few hours prior to procedure. A child have nasal congestion may not be suitable for gas inhalation method.

Often small children refuse to wear masks and for such children oral sedation may be beneficial. In addition, children who are much more anxious need stronger medicines. Your dentist will consider several factors before choosing the oral sedation like - child's anxiety level, cooperating abilities, and type of treatment. Just like inhaled gas, your child can also be aroused with oral medicines to respond to the dentists commands. With these medicines, also there may be some minor side effects of nausea and vomiting.

The doctor may instruct you about precautions to be taken when your child is to receive oral sedation as to what to and what not to eat before the procedure. How much time before the procedure can your child eat or drink? How to take care of him after the treatment? How the monitoring of your child will be done? You may also have to carry your child home as oral sedation does take some time to wear off.

Other than oral medicine, there are other ways of giving Conscious Sedation and they are - via the nose, by a suppository, by an injection, through intravenous. Only dentists with extensive training in these techniques should use injections and intravenous medicines.
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