Sedation in pediatric dentistry, pain in the mouth or tooth infection can affect children of any age, and there are times when the use of sedation or anesthesia is needed to give them the care they require. Dental treatments can be performed under general anesthesia, also called GA, to put a child to a controlled state of sleep. GA eliminates awareness, pain, or movement throughout the procedure, allowing the pediatric dentist to perform and complete the necessary treatments. Your childâ??s dentist will only recommend treatments under GA if itâ??s really needed and all other options are ineffective. When is general anesthesia required? When the child is too young to cooperate during the treatment. When the treatment is lengthy, complex, or extensive in nature (multiple cavities, etc.). When the child has dental anxiety and other forms of sedation does not help. When a child has special needs or other health problems. Nitrous Oxide: Often called â??laughing gas,â?ÂÂ nitrous oxide is a very safe, mild sedative that will help your child remain relaxed during dental procedures. Your childâ??s dentist will give the sedation with the use of a â??space mask,â?ÂÂ which carries air (oxygen) mixed with the medication. Your child will be asked to breathe through the nose, not the mouth, and will sense a faint, sweet smell. The sedation will take effect in about 5 minutes. The mask will remain in place until the procedure is done. Your child will be awake during the entire procedure and may have a â??happyâ?ÂÂ feeling. When the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for about 5 minutes to clear out any remaining gas. You should limit your child to a very light meal before this procedure, such as toast or a bagel. How to Comfort Your Child before Induction: As a parent, watching your child undergo sedation may be a very uncomfortable experience for you. Children can sense a parentâ??s concern â?? so for your presence to be helpful to your child, you must try to be as calm and encouraging as possible. There are ways you can help your child, even if you feel uncomfortable. You can bring along a â??comfortâ?ÂÂ item â?? such as a favorite toy, stuffed animal, or â??blankieâ?ÂÂâ?? for your child to hold during the induction. You can touch your child to remind your child that you are there. Holding your childâ??s hand or caressing his or her hair and face will remind your child of your presence. You can whisper, talk, or sing to your child. The sound of your voice can provide reassurance. Following Sedation: When the procedure is done, pt. will be called to the room as the medication wears off. The length of time it will take the medication to wear off will vary, as some children take longer than others to become alert. Children coming out of sedation react in different ways. The child might cry, be fussy or confused, feel sick to his or her stomach, or vomit. These reactions are normal and will go away as the sedation medication wears off. When the child is discharged, he or she still might be groggy, dizzy, or nauseous, and should take it easy for the rest of the day. At Home Care and Follow Up Visits: Your childâ??s nose, mouth, and throat may remain numb for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure. Your childâ??s gums and mouth may be sore for several days afterward, depending on the dental procedure. Use caution when your child eats and drinks for about 2 hours after the procedure, watching to make sure he or she does not bite the tongue or the inside of the mouth. Your child should only eat soft foods for the first few hours after undergoing a dental procedure that requires sedation. Your child is not to return to school or day care that day. Upon returning home, your child should take it easy for the rest of the day. Your dentist will tell you when you should schedule a follow-up visit. When to Call the Dentist: If your childâ??s gums are sore, TylenolÂ® or MotrinÂ® will help with any discomfort. If your child experiences any of the following for more than 24 hours, you should call your dentist: fever, severe bleeding of the gums, severe pain, and vomiting. If your child has any of these symptoms, call your dentist immediately. This procedure can be used safely and effectively when administered by a trained practitioner in an appropriately equipped medical setting. Biography Tamara has completed her degree in dentistry from Modern Science and Art University. She has more than ten years of experience in the cosmetic dentistry, contributed in many sessions and seminars. Dr. Tamara now a medical director of a cosmetic dental clinic.