My daughter is only seven years old and her pediatric dentist told me this week that she needs a lot of dental work done. He said she has several cavities that may need caps. He wants me to bring her back three or four times to do it all. I can’t afford to take time off to bring her back over and over. Couldn’t we just save time and money and sedate her and do it all at the same time?
Yvonne, New York
That is a great question. At first glance, it may seem that sedation dentistry is the best option to get a lot of work done fast and with the least amount of pain because that is often how sedation dentists are able to work with adults. But what is best for adults is not always best for children, and your pediatric dentist may not feel it is best for your child.
To be clear, using sedation on children isn’t the usual for pediatric dentists. Sedation would make your daughter very calm for a dental procedure through the use of medication, but not asleep. She would be incoherent and very relaxed and likely wouldn’t remember the appointment, but, as with any medication, there may be negative effects and it’s not right for every situation.
Pediatric dentists are equipped and experienced in treating children who are nervous, anxious, or have to have a lot of work done. I would imagine your daughter’s dentist has seen many other children in the same situation as your daughter and has her best interest in mind. Treating her cavities in the safest and least invasive way for her may be more important than convenience.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your daughter’s dentist and share your thoughts. Together, you will be able to implement the best treatment plan for your daughter.