The American Dental Association states that sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to help children relax—especially those with dental anxiety or having a hard time sitting still—so they can receive dental restorations.
However, before using any type of sedative or anesthetic medication, we always review your child's health history and current medications.
Sedation can greatly enhance procedures that require more cooperation than your child is able to provide without assistance, and our team has extensive experience in each type of medication:
- Nitrous oxide or "laughing gas" 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, including very mild nausea or constipation, are very rare.
- Oral sedation helps relax more nervous children to a point at which we are able to provide dental treatment in a safe manner.
- General anesthesia in a hospital operating room is offered for children who are very nervous or fearful, require very extensive treatment. or might have significant underlying health concerns.
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. Certain patients may require more sedation and relaxation: those with extreme phobias, physical handicaps, low pain tolerance, a strong gag reflex, or in need of major procedures.