Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry for Children

We recognize that some of our patients may feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Our doctors and staff work hard to make sure that your child has a comfortable, positive experience, and that's why we are pleased to offer sedation dentistry for those patients needing a little extra comfort before receiving treatment. Feeling anxious about receiving dental care should never prevent having a beautiful, healthy smile.

Our office offers customized sedation dentistry that is safe and effective. There are different types of sedation dentistry, and working together, you and your doctor will decide on a personalized treatment plan that will give your child the care he or she needs while ensuring comfort every step of the way.

Inhaled Sedation

Inhaled Sedation, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in children. Administered through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose and not through their mouth. As the gas begins to work, your child will become calm, although he or she will still be awake and able to talk with the dentist.

At the end of your child’s appointment, he or she will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of the inhaled sedation will disappear. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable during dental visits, gas may not be necessary.

Oral Sedation

Children who are more anxious may need a stronger medicine than laughing gas. Several of these medicines are given by mouth (orally). When choosing a medicine, the dentist will consider your child's:

  • Anxiety level
  • Ability to cooperate
  • Treatment

With oral sedation, your child may be sleepy but can be aroused. He or she also can respond to simple commands. Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medicines.

Before a visit in which your child is to receive oral sedation, you should receive instructions. They will include:

  • Whether to eat or drink before the procedure
  • What to expect during treatment
  • What to watch for after treatment

You may need to carry your child home after sedation. Your dentist also should discuss how your child will be monitored during sedation. You will need to stay for a short time after dental treatment has been completed. During this time, your child will be observed. The dental staff will make sure recovery is complete and look out for any problems.