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The type of sedation a child might need depends on several factors, such as the child’s age, ability to tolerate a procedure, medical history, severe gag reflex and the extent of tooth decay.

You needn’t be afraid of sedation or general anesthesia for your child, but you should ask questions, said Dr.

Raj Vij, administrative director of pediatric dentistry at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Around the country in recent years, troubling cases have come to light where children were harmed or died after being sedated for dental procedures. Vij emphasized that sedation is very safe, provided safety and monitoring guidelines are followed.

• The pediatric dentist should consult with the child’s pediatrician or family doctor about sedating a child, especially if the child has medical conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea or cardiovascular issues.

“For kids at higher risk, such as those with heart problems, I would want the child cleared by their MD, and then we make a decision about where to treat them,” Dr. Problems that require sedation can be avoided with good dental hygiene and regular dental care.

Few people find it easy to sit still at the dentists for extended periods, and children are no different. It’s a challenge as a parent to schedule multiple appointments around work, school, childcare, and activities.

For kids who need a lot of work done, sedation can help them be more comfortable and hold still longer. Many parents intend to finish a treatment plan but are unable to make every appointment.

For children too young to understand that the dentist is necessary, sedation can help minimize fear and discomfort. Build lifelong good habits Children who have dental problems early in life often come away with a fear of the dentist and a dislike of anything oral health-related.

“We want to avoid using sedation if at all possible,” Dr. “We stress the importance of prevention, starting a child with a dentist early, by age 1.

As a parent, you know that your child is in a constant state of change as they approach adulthood.

In recent years, sedation techniques have greatly improved and risks have gone down significantly, Dr. If your child needs to be sedated, he recommends you consider the following: • Is the dentist certified in pediatric dentistry?

If your child has an issue that requires deep sedation or general anesthesia, a dentist with advanced training in pediatrics is recommended. If a child needs deep sedation or anesthesia, a professional trained in pediatric anesthesiology is recommended.

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One thing doesn’t change, however, and that is that you want a safe environment for your child to receive optimum care.

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