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Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?

Before discussing the answer to the question “is oral sedation dentistry safe for children,” perhaps a definition is in order. Oral sedation is a mild form of sedation that does not render a patient unconscious, but it may make the patient drowsy. The beneficial effect of light sedation is the relief of anxiety. It helps the patient stay calm and relaxed.


How Oral Sedation Works

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The oral sedation comes in the form of a liquid that is measured by the doctor according to weight and is given by mouth. It takes effect in 45 – 60 minutes. The sedative effect gradually wears off during the day, but activity should be limited and the child should be monitored for the remainder of the day.


How Safe is Oral Sedation Dentistry for Children?

Oral sedation is offered by thousands of trained dentists all over the US and Canada. When oral sedation is given by an appropriately trained doctor or dentist, it is extremely safe. A credible study in the UK showed the risk of mortality for oral sedation to be 1 in 1 million.


What to Do Before Oral Sedation

One safeguard should be taken before oral sedation is administered, however, and that is the patient should not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours before the oral sedation appointment. This makes it less likely that the patient will become nauseous during the procedure.


Is Oral Sedation a Good Choice for Your Child?

When deciding whether oral sedation is a good choice for your child, remember that because the child is still conscious during oral sedation, the child needs to be cooperative and follow instructions. For parents, we strongly suggest that you not be in the treatment room during the procedure because a child is usually more cooperative and less distracted when the parent is not present. If you suspect that your child will be too anxious to be cooperative during oral sedation, a general anesthetic might be a better option. General anesthetic does carry a slightly higher risk than oral sedation, but even then the risk is not high.


Get in Touch to Learn More

Adams Pediatric Dentistry is one of the leading pediatric dentists Nashville has to offer and we specialize in pediatric oral sedation dentistry in Nashville. To learn more please contact us at (615) 297-7597.