Safe Sedation Dentistry for Kids of All Ages

Children often feel anxious when they have to go to the dentist – they may be afraid of experiencing pain or discomfort, or they may experience separation anxiety if they leave their parents in the waiting room.

At Smiles 4 Keeps, we do everything possible to keep your child comfortable during his or her appointment. One effective method we use is safe sedation dentistry.

Sedation Dentistry for Children

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to prevent the patient from feeling overly nervous and anxious. It can be used before or during a procedure, and may be useful for any dental treatment, from a routine cleaning to a root canal.

It is important to note that sedation is not the same as being put to sleep (though your child may fall asleep during his or her procedure). Patients who are sedated remain conscious and are able to communicate with us the entire time. Many patients find that time seems to fly by when they are sedated and afterwards remember little about the appointment.

Our team members are very experienced in providing sedation for children. We have undergone extensive training to ensure that we are administering sedation in a safe and effective manner. Your child’s safety and comfort are extremely important to us!

Why Use Sedation?

We use sedation in our office for several reasons:

  • Sedation gives parents peace of mind. We understand how difficult it is to see your child upset and scared at the dentist’s office. It’s comforting to know that your child is at ease going into the appointment.
  • In addition, the use of sedation makes it easier for our dentists to do the very best job possible. When we don’t have to worry about your child’s discomfort, we can focus 100 percent of our attention on the procedure.
  • Most importantly, we use sedation because it makes the appointment easier for your child. We want your child to associate going to the dentist with positive feelings rather than fear and nervousness. The better your child’s experience at the dentist, the more likely he or she will be to continue visiting the dentist on a regular basis later in life.

Options for Sedation

The right type of sedation, if any, for your child will depend on multiple factors, including:

  • The type of procedure
  • Your child’s medical history
  • Your child’s level of anxiety

Prior to your child’s appointment, we’ll discuss the options for sedation and determine which form will be appropriate. We use three types of sedation in our office:

  • Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is often the choice used for minor procedures, such as fillings.
  • Oral conscious sedation refers to taking medication prior to the appointment.
  • IV sedation is typically reserved for invasive or complex procedures, such as oral surgery.

If your child is overly afraid of the dentist or has dental anxiety, sedation may be the ideal solution. Contact our office to learn more about how we can improve your child’s dental experience.