Pediatric Oral Conscious Sedation
If You're Child is Afraid of the Dentist, We Can Help!
Conscious Sedation is defined as a minimally depressed level of consciousness. The patient is still able to independently and continuously maintain his/her airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal command. Unlike General Anesthesia, where a patient is completely unconscious and unable to respond, patients under Conscious Sedation, are able to respond to commands and breath on their own.
We use "Orally Administered Sedation" in our offices -- called Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS). OCS is administered to children by having them drink a small amount of the sedative medications (See Medications Used Below). All body functions remain normal and the child is able to breathe on their own. The patient will often fall asleep, however some children will cry throughout the dental visit. At the same time some degree of amnesia is common and few children remember anything following the dental appointment.
Advantages to Oral Conscious Sedation
- Fairly easy to administer: The child drinks a small amount of the liquid
- It is safe and easy to monitor
- Works well for most people
- There is often little or no memory of the dental visit
- Conscious Sedation is safe, cheap, and effective
Disadvantages of Oral Conscious Sedation
- The level of Sedation is not easily changed
- There is no analgesic (pain relief effect)
- Not covered by Medical or Healthy Families
Medications Possibly Used for Oral Conscious Sedation
- Midazolam (oral)
- Hydroxyzine (oral)
- Atropine (oral)
- Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen
- Xylocaine - as a Local Anesthetic
Who Needs Sedation?
- Children who are very young.
- Children needing extensive treatment.
- Children who have a history of being uncooperative at the dentist.
Causes of Rampant Pediatric Caries
- Breastfeeding older children without cleaning their teeth afterwards.
- Using a bottle with milk, juice, or honey water between meals.
- Milk, juice and breast milk have high sugar content that increases thirst.
- The bottle can become a toy for him/her and the teeth are continually in contact with sugars.
- When children sleep with the bottle in their mouth, teeth are coated with sugar.
- Parents on meth neglect both their teeth and their children's teeth.
- Parents of children on any other medication should consult with the child's medical doctor before considering sedation.
- Previous allergic reactions to other drugs should be reported to the dentist.