Dr. Kristin Woodward takes a look at sedating kids during dental procedures.
DENVER -- Sedation is used during procedures in kids because it decreases pain and anxiety. However, the recent death of a three year old following a dental procedure leaves us asking is it safe?
Procedural sedation in kids can be done safely if given by an experienced health care provider. Prior to any procedure, parents should ask who will be giving the sedation and how will their child be monitored. It is also very important to know that someone will be present who can handle any emergent situation that may arise.
It is always wise to also ask about alternatives. For example, can the procedure be done with only local anesthesia or can the procedure be done in the hospital under the care of an anesthesiologist.
Many types of sedatives are used in kids. However, the most important point is to make sure the health care providers know how to give the medications safely, know how to monitor your child, and know how to handle emergent situations.
If you have any questions talk to your child's pediatrician prior to the procedure. They can direct you to a specialist who can help you make the right decision for your family.