Sedation dentistry is the use of a mild sedative to manage special needs or anxiety while your child receives dental care. If necessary, our dentists will determine the best sedation option for your child’s specific needs or circumstances.
Types of sedation dentistry:
- Nitrous Oxide: Often called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a safe, mild sedative that can help your child relax during dental procedures. Your child’s dentist will administer nitrous oxide with the use of a small mask that is placed over their nose. They will be asked to breathe through their nose, and will sense a faint, sweet smell. The sedation effect of nitrous oxide occurs in about 5 minutes. The mask will remain in place until the procedure is done. Your child will be awake during the entire procedure and may have a more relaxed feeling. When the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for about 5 minutes to clear out any remaining sedation effects. You should limit your child to a very light meal before this procedure, such as toast or a bagel.
- Oral Sedation: Oral sedation is a medication administered by mouth in liquid form. This type of medicine will make your child a little drowsy, and will help keep him or her more relaxed and calm during the procedure. The medicine usually begins to work within 20 minutes. At the appointment, a member of our dental team will review your child’s medical history with you and obtain their weight. The dentist will meet with you and your child to review treatment and to administer the medication. Parents may remain with your child until he or she is feeling relaxed, then remain in our reception area during treatment.
- Intravenous Sedation (IV sedation): IV sedation is a form of deep sedation that is administered intravenously by a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist. This service is provided in our dental office for healthy children that may have more extensive dental needs and/or have difficulty tolerating dental treatment. Nitrous oxide or a pre-medication can be administered to help calm your child prior to their appointment. Your child will sleep peacefully while their dental needs are addressed.