Sedation Dentistry For Your Autistic Youngster
If you have a child on the autism spectrum, even routine dental appointments can be enormously stressful. Some youngsters become so upset that dentists must use physical restraints to keep them still; this obviously can be frightening and even traumatic for the child. Sedation dentistry may be the answer. You may feel troubled at the idea of having your child sedated for something as routine as a dental cleaning and exam, but the strategy is very helpful for easing the youngster’s anxiety.
SEDATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
Your child shouldn’t need intravenous sedation or to be put in an unconscious state. Those tactics might actually increase his or her anxiety when the next appointment is approaching. Instead, dentists prefer to use nitrous oxide — known as laughing gas — or oral tranquilizing medication for these youngsters.
If your child can maintain control of breathing through the nose and has the ability to manipulate a nose mask, then nitrous oxide is an excellent option. Nitrous oxide has a calming effect and usually makes a patient feel totally unconcerned about whatever is going on.
Your youngster may even appreciate being able to manage the level of sedation he or she experiences. Dentists and patients alike prefer nitrous oxide because the patient has complete control. When the patient wants to stop the sedation, he or she simply removes the nose mask.
Oral Tranquilizing Medication
For children, a liquid solution typically is provided in a flavor that kids tend to like. The medication makes the youngster feel sleepy and calm. Some level of these effects tends to linger for several hours after the appointment, so the child can’t return to school or other normal activities until later.
For your peace of mind, bring your child to the doctor for a physical exam before any tranquilizing medication is administered. The doctor can make sure sedation won’t have adverse effects on the youngster. This physician checks for possible issues such as respiratory difficulties or abnormally large tonsils.
It’s important for your child to have teeth professionally cleaned and a dental exam done at least once each year — and preferably twice each year. Kids with special needs can be more susceptible to cavities because they aren’t always as diligent about caring for their teeth. Dental hygienists and dentists will catch any problems in the earliest stages and also provide advice on how to prevent further problems in the future.