Types of Sedation for Children


Sedation helps ensure that pediatric dental visits offer young patients a comfortable experience and effective results. Often, children are intimidated by dental visits or otherwise unable to sit still during treatments for extended periods of time. Sedation helps minimize anxiety and relax children during dental visits – all under the safe supervision of a pediatric dentist.

Did you know…

children of nearly any age can be safely sedated? Even toddlers can be sedated for dental treatment. There are many ways of administering sedation to pediatric patients in the office, some of which include inhalation or swallowing medicine. Some children may require general anesthesia in the setting of a surgery center or hospital, which is staffed by anesthesiologists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of sedation are available for my child?

There several different types of pediatric sedation available to patients. Children are most often given nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This gas is inhaled through a mask during the dental visit, providing an instant calming effect. Laughing gas is safe, and its effects wear off nearly immediately after treatment. Other types of sedation may be necessary for children with greater anxiety levels or special needs. Examples include oral sedation given in the office prior to the dental visit, as well as general anesthesia given in the setting of a surgery center or hospital, which usually leaves children with little or no memory of their dental treatment.

Should I consider pediatric sedation for my child’s next dental visit?

Your child may be a candidate for pediatric sedation dentistry if he or she is very young, has difficulty sitting still, has anxiety about visiting the dentist or has special needs. Your child’s dentist may also recommend sedation if your child will be undergoing a lengthy or extensive dental treatment. For more information about pediatric sedation and whether it is right for your child, contact our office.

How will my child need to prepare for a dental visit involving sedation?

You will be given instructions for preparation prior to your appointment. It is extremely important to follow these instructions as not doing so may prevent the dentist from being able to perform your child’s treatment. Your child may not be allowed to eat or drink in the hours leading up to the procedure. If your child experiences anxiety prior to the visit, consider letting him or her bring a ‘comfort’ item, such as a blanket or stuffed animal.


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