Wisdom Teeth: Removal, Maintenance and Cavity Prevention

4 Sedation Options for Children Undergoing Dental Extraction

Children can need dental extraction for a number of reasons including decay, overcrowding, dental trauma or failure of the juvenile teeth to full remove themselves. Children can find the procedure worrying, however the process of sedation also comes with some risks. If you're wondering about your options, here is a brief overview of four different sedation options.

No sedation

Simply opting to go without sedation is a good option if your child is relatively calm about the procedure and the tooth is no longer painful. An example would be a baby tooth which has not fully come loose, but has no root nerves still attached.

Local anaesthesia

Local anaesthesia has a short recovery time and low risks, primarily of remaining numbness in the mouth. The anaesthetic is applied with a large needle and after some initial stinging creates numbness of the mouth nerve is has been applied too.

It is an ideal option for teeth, which are both easy to access and likely to be easy to remove such as the front teeth and incisors. As only the mouth is numbed, if the child is particularly anxious and likely to try and run or fight the dentist, you will need to separately work out how to relax and restrain the child.

Twilight sedation

Twilight sedation places the child in a drowsy yet conscious state. This does not numb the mouth, but allow the dentist to easily access the mouth to inject the local anaesthetic. The initial recovery time is relatively short and the extraction can be performed in the dental surgery, with a supervising anaesthetist visiting. After 24-48 hours the patient is usually fully recovered.

This is a better option when the tooth is hard to access and likely to be a difficult or painful extraction, and take significant time. Your child will need to fast for a few hours before the procedure. 

General anaesthesia

General anaesthesia is performed in a hospital. It fully numbs and paralyses the child to allow the procedure to go ahead and is the best option for children who are particularly anxious, hard to restrain and numb by the other forms of sedation, and children who need multiple and challenging extractions.

There are minor risks associated with general anaesthesia including breathing difficulties, which can anaesthetist be managed by the anaesthetist.

To find the best sedation options for your child's tooth extraction, discuss the process with a dentist in your area. Experienced dentists can assess the extraction and provide you with the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision.