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Is Dental Anesthesia Safe for Children?

Posted on 5/15/2024 by Beaverton Oral Surgeons
Child in dental chair at Beaverton Oral Surgeons in Hillsboro, ORDental anesthesia is commonly used to make dental procedures tolerable and comfortable. The dentist will most likely use anesthesia to help your child relax and feel no pain during a dental procedure. Dental sedation is generally considered safe, but many parents often wonder if it is safe for their children.

Types of Dental Anesthesia Used on Children

Mild Sedation

Mild sedation is commonly used on adults and older children, and it keeps your child awake but calm during the procedure. Your child may not remember what happened during the dental visit.

Moderate Sedation

With moderate sedation, your child will be sleepier during the procedure. They will still breathe on their own and wake up easily afterward.

Deep Sedation

Deep sedation is an invasive type of anesthesia that will help your child relax. However, they may struggle to breathe on their own. An additional professional must be present in the room if your child uses deep sedation.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia will put your child to sleep completely. Your child will also be pain-free during the procedure. Like deep sedation, general anesthesia must be administered when there are more than two professionals in the room.

Is Dental Anesthesia Safe for Children?

Although dental sedation is considered safe for most people, it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved. These risks include:

Breathing Issues

Dental sedation can cause breathing problems in some children. There is the risk of shallow breathing or a decrease in breathing rate. In rare cases, dental sedation can cause respiratory arrest.

Cardiovascular Problems

Dental anesthesia has been associated with changes in blood pressure and heart rate. However, these are rare cases, and they are usually related to the existence of other medical conditions during the time of using dental anesthesia.

Allergic Reaction

A few children have reportedly experienced an allergic reaction to dental anesthesia. Some of these reactions include hives and swelling.

Nausea and Vomiting

Oral sedation has reportedly instigated nausea and vomiting in some children. However, it usually occurs after the completion of the dental procedure.

Ultimately, the risks associated with dental anesthesia in children are considered to occur rarely. That makes dental anesthesia safe for children.

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