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5 Tips to Help Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety

Many children experience anxiety about visiting the dentist. If your child has such strong fears that they’re getting in the way of necessary dental procedures, oral sedation can help.

At Sendero Dental Studio in Rancho Mission Viejo and Ladera Ranch, California, Jeffery Barrera, DDS, offers oral sedation as a solution to help anxious and fearful children relax during dental procedures. Discover how oral sedation helps even the most nervous children relax and stay calm when they receive dental care.

Understanding oral sedation

Through the administering of oral medications, using oral sedation keeps your child relaxed while getting dental work. Our dentists can use oral sedation on children getting fillings, dental cleanings, and any other necessary dental treatments.

How oral sedation works

Our dentists use several different medications for oral sedation, depending on your child’s needs. The most common medications used are benzodiazepines such as Versed and Valium, which are sedatives that treat anxiety.

For children to not remember the dental procedure, our dentist can administer Midazolam (Versed), which has a short-term amnesia effect that means your child won’t remember the treatment. Hydroxyzine antihistamines paired with oral sedatives can also be a good option to prevent nausea reactions your child might have to the sedative medication.

Depending on the type and amount of medication used, the level of oral sedation given can create a mild to moderate sedative effect. Unlike general anesthesia, your child usually remains awake during oral sedation. Depending on the level of oral sedation used, your child might range from feeling more relaxed to groggy to not remembering the procedure.

Who oral sedation helps

Oral sedation can benefit any child who has anxieties or fears about visiting the dentist or getting a certain dental procedure. If your child needs a stronger treatment than laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, to stay calm or doesn’t respond well to laughing gas treatment, oral sedation can be an excellent option.

Your child can also benefit from oral sedation when getting some more complex, longer procedures where it’s hard to sit still. It’s also appropriate for some children with behavioral challenges who need help staying still in the dental chair.

What happens after your child’s oral sedation dental work

After your child’s dental procedure, our dentists do a vital and breathing check on your child. In some instances, before going home, you’ll need to stay in our office until the sedation wears off.

You can expect your child to feel sleepy for several hours after getting oral sedation. Let your child rest at home, and the following day they should be able to return to their usual routine.

If going to the dentist has turned into an anxious nightmare for your child, keep them calm, happy, and in optimal oral health by taking advantage of oral sedation. To learn more about oral sedation options at Sendero Dental Studio and how your child can benefit, call our office at 949-371-8533 or book an appointment online.

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