Sedation Dentistry: an Option for Individuals with Special Needs

added on: May 7, 2021

While we provide a calming environment at Phelps Family Dentistry, there are points when sedation might be the best course for treatment for your son or daughter. Especially if they have special needs such as Down Syndrome, Autism, ADD/ADHD or  sensory processing challenges. special needs oral sedation

Dental Sedation for Children with Special Needs

Some kids have a hard time sitting still during a procedure because of behavioral, physical, or emotional disorders. For those who are good candidates, pediatric sedation dentistry allows children to have necessary dental procedures without feeling pain, anxiety, stress, or fear.

Because there are various levels of sedation services, your dental professional may use sedation for numerous kinds of dental procedures in an effective and safe way that is customized to meet the needs of your child.

Pediatric sedation dentistry benefits include:

  • Little to no memory of procedure
  • Permits patients with special needs and the ones who have specific medical conditions to obtain comprehensive treatment
  • Cost-effective
  • Capability of performing more treatment in less time
  • Improved treatment quality
  • Avoiding/overcoming dental phobias by calming and relaxing patient

Dental Phobias and Sensory Processing

If your son or daughter fears going to the dentist, she/he isn’t alone. The Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation says upwards of 75 percent of adults have mild to serious anxiety when it comes to dental appointments, with 30 percent avoiding going to the dentist altogether. For children and adults with sensory processing challenges, the bright lights, smells and other sensations can lead to an overwhelming sense of anxiety, making treatment extremely challenging or even impossible.

Sedation dentistry helps calm and relax patients. When a child or adult with special needs feels relaxed instead of fearful, they have a greater likelihood of experiencing little to no anxiety at future appointments and will be much less likely to develop a lifelong phobia could lead to severe health consequences.

Improved Quality of Treatment with Sedation Dentistry

While sedation dentistry can come with psychological advantages, it may also lead to a savings in both money and time by enabling the dental professional to work without a person becoming uncomfortable. This can be especially beneficial for individuals in need of multiple, complex, lengthy procedures. When a patient is sedated, the dentist is able to perform the procedure without resistance or interruption and they are often able to work more quickly. With IV sedation or conscious sedation the dentist may achieve multiple treatments in a single appointment and your loved one will feel like little time has passed, having felt no anxiety, discomfort, or pain.

At Phelps Family Dentistry, we also utilize an intraoral scanner referred to as the Medit™ i500. This important tool allows us to create molds for crowns, bridges, or dental implants in a minimally invasive manner. It offers excellent visibility and is a good option for patients who have strong gag reflexes.


To know more about sedation dentistry, call us at (910) 762-3481 to make an appointment.

Posted In: Articles, Oral Health