Sedation dentistry refers to the use of a sedative agent administered to your child to facilitate the delivery of excellent dental care and provide for a positive dental experience. It is most commonly used during extensive dental procedures, for patients with dental anxieties, and to facilitate coping skills in young children. There are several forms of sedation used by pediatric dentists, including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), oral (conscious) sedation, and general anesthesia. Our pediatric dentists are specially trained and certified in delivering this form of dental care and keeping your child safe and comfortable during dental treatment is a responsibility we take seriously.
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Nitrous oxide, also know as laughing gas or “happy air,” is the most frequently used method for easing mild-to-moderate anxiety. Administered through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose, it is an extremely safe adjunct often used by pediatric dentists to minimize apprehension and nervousness associated with dental procedures.
Our pediatric dentists are specially trained in the administration of nitrous oxide to patients of all ages, which allows your son or daughter to have dental treatment completed safely in the dental office setting while he or she remains awake.
Nitrous oxide induces a feeling of warmth and security, gives most children a pleasant “floating” sensation, and minimizes sensations during dental treatment. At the end of your appointment, your child will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear, so the little patient can resume normal activities immediately.
Oral sedation, commonly referred to as "conscious sedation" involves the administration of one or more mild sedatives, usually in combination with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This form of sedation allows for a more profound level of relaxation and calmness than with nitrous oxide alone, yet allows the child to remain awake during the procedure and have their treatment completed in our office.
The sedative(s) recommended for you child is/are dependent upon many factors, some of which are listed below:
- your child's age
- your child's weight
- the presence of any medical/systemic conditions
- level of anxiety
- extent of dental treatment needs
Before administrating any sedatives, our experienced team will educate you about the process of sedation, including preoperative and postoperative instructions. Recommendations made will be based upon what is in the best interest of your child.