Sometimes, the dental treatment of anxious and restless patients, especially children, becomes a challenging job for dentists. Many children are either afraid of the presumed pain they would suffer during administration of the anesthesia, or fearful of the vibrating sounds of various dental rotary machines. In any case, pacification of the child becomes necessary in order for the dentist to perform treatment without hindrance. Traditionally, before the extraction of teeth in children, a local anesthesia is given to them the numb the pain. However, since many children are afraid of getting the “shot” from the anesthesia syringe, they never consent to the treatment. To counter this dilemma, various treatment options have been developed by the dental professionals. Among them, sedation is a highly effective and time tested procedure. The aim of sedation is to reduction anxiety and apprehension so that the patient becomes cooperative during the dental procedure, while keeping the patient’s reflexes and responses intact. Other dentists prefer to use some sort of restraining techniques that work by temporarily limiting the capability of child-patients to move during the dental treatment.
Restraints, Sedation and General Anesthesia: is it really necessary?
Dental procedures become impossible on child-patients that are nervous and fearful of the dentist or even the dental office. Hence it is imperative to have a mechanism in place that either makes the child more compliant, or limits the capability of the child to move. Both sedation and restraints are being commonly used by dentists worldwide. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry approves of partial or complete stabilization of the patients in certain cases, in order to protect the patient and the dental team. Eighty five percent of the dental programs taught safe restraining mechanisms as an acceptable and validated procedure whenever warranted. Similarly, dentist throughout the world are practicing sedation dentistry routinely in their practices, which not only makes the dental treatment more pleasant for the patient, but also significantly reduces the time taken by the dentist to perform the procedure.
In certain extreme cases where restraining and sedation are not effective, general anesthesia can be administered as the last resort. Furthermore, this option can also be opted during excessively long surgical procedures where local anesthesia might not remain effective over prolonged periods. It can be concluded from the above discussion that these treatments should be used without hesitation whenever they are required, provided all the medical and dental precautions are kept in mind.
Are these Treatments Safe For My Child?
Dental procedures under sedation are performed by dental professionals who have acquired proper training in administration of sedation to children. Other dentists have hired full time dental anaesthesiologists who are responsible for the wellbeing of the child during sedation and anesthesia. Similarly, only restraining techniques that have been authorized by the respective dental licensing authority are utilized in the dental surgery. Therefore, these procedures are safe and risk free in trained hands.