Pediatric Sedation Dentistry

At Smiles & Grins, we are trained in a variety of pediatric sedation therapies.  As pediatric dental specialists, our goal is to accommodate the needs of our young patients based on both parental and specialist guidance.  Every one of our children is different and the type of pediatric sedation must be administered with that in mind.

Nitrous Oxide aka ‘Laughing Gas’ (Mild sedation)
This type of sedation is given as an inhalational agent, where the child wears a mask on their nose, which delivers the nitrous oxide. The patient inhales the agent and exhales the agent without processing the agent. This means they breathe it out the same way they breathe it in. This type of sedation is good to use with children who may have slight anxiety, or have limited work that needs to be done.

Nitrous oxide acts to change the nitrogen levels in the body and creates a slight “happy” feeling in children. It does not put your child to sleep. Once your child is on 100% oxygen, they will have no residual effects. Nitrous oxide is the safest drug that we have in anesthesia and dentistry.

This type of sedation is good to use with children who may have slight anxiety, or have limited work that needs to be done.

IV sedation (Deep sedation)
Many people describe this as “sleep dentistry”. We do not believe in this technique or using “deep sedation” with children, we use oral or IV conscious sedation to help facilitate your child’s treatment. The route of administration is dependent on your child’s age and length of treatment needs.

After sedation, your child is not to go back to school. They will need to have someone at home with them to monitor them. Because our sedation is very mild, it may seem that your child is not sedated anymore. However, we still recommend that your child engages only in quiet play at home and that they have limited physical activity.

General Anesthesia
General anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment.

General Anesthesia is most helpful for:

  • Infants
  • Children who require major treatment.
  • An extremely anxious child, or
  • Children who are medically compromised or have special needs.