Sedation Dentistry


For children with a fear of the dentist, or other healthcare situation, sedation dentistry may be beneficial.  Even some children who are comfortable with the dentist, may simply have a difficult time sitting still for an extended period of time. These kids may greatly benefit from the use of sedation dentistry. Maine is home to Falmouth Pediatric Dentistry and we pride ourselves on the use of this safe and effective form of dental treatment.

There are a number of different types of sedation dentistry that can be used to help calm phobias or encourage a small child to sit still. We are happy to outline the benefits and risks of each while helping you determine which is the best option for your son or daughter. Our team of professionals have extensive experience in each type of medication and find that their use greatly enhances services and procedures that may require more cooperation than your child is able to provide without assistance.

The American Dental Association states that sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to ensure patients are comfortable throughout their procedure or treatment. However, before using any type of sedative or anesthetic medication, it is important to review your child's health history and current medications with your dentist. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your child's to determine if your child is a candidate for sedation.

Nitrous oxide is one of the most commonly used forms of sedation dentistry. Maine is home to some of the best dentists who treat kids for their nervousness and anxiety through sedation. More commonly referred to as "laughing gas," it is administered with a mixture of oxygen through a hood that sits on the child’s nose. The child will be relaxed, but is never fully sedated.  Once the procedure or treatment is completed, the nitrous oxide is turned off and oxygen is delivered for a few more minutes to help flush the gas from their system. This medication is very fast-acting and, as such, wears off quickly. Your child will be back to normal in no time.  Adverse side effects are very rare with nitrous oxide. Some children experience nausea or constipation, but this is usually mild and rarely occurs.

Other types of medications that your dentist may suggest include oral sedation and even general anesthesia.  Oral sedation helps relax more nervous children to a point at which we are able to provide dental treatment in a safe manner.  For children who are very nervous, fearful, require very extensive treatment or might have significant underlying health concerns, we are able to provide treatment under general anesthesia in a hospital operating room. The type of treatment that your dentist recommends will depend on the patient and the type of procedure or treatment that needs to be performed. A certain subset of patients such as those with extreme phobias, physical handicaps, in need of major procedures, low pain tolerance or sometimes a strong gag reflex may require more sedation and relaxation.

Contact Falmouth Pediatric Dentistry for more information about our techniques and procedures to help children feel more comfortable in the dental chair with our sedation dentistry. Maine parents know that this is a safe and effective way to ensure your child gets the oral health care they need without stressful side effects. Our friendly and helpful office staff is available to answer any questions you may have and we can address your concerns via telephone or in person. Call us today to learn more and book your initial consultation appointment.