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In dentistry, even with the best intentions and chairside manner of the dentist and dental team, some children and young adults are so apprehensive and fearful that no amount of talking or calming down will allow the treatment to be completed. Some children are simply too young to be able to cooperate. Sedation is also helpful for children with special needs. There are many safe and effective drugs available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment. These are some options of how to complete necessary dental treatment.

Nitrous Oxide (N20-02) “Laughing Gas”
Nitrous oxide is available for a child who feels anxious before or during dental treatment. It is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and enhance effective communication. It also works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.

IV Sedation/Anesthesia
IV(intravenous) anesthesia provides a means for completing all of your children’s dental needs while he or she is comfortable, pain-free and asleep. Medication is administered intravenously rather than by inhalational gas anesthesia. Your child will awaken soon after the dental treatment is completed, free from any memory of the dental treatment, the IV and the procedure. IV anesthesis is recommended for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. It also includes children with moderate to severe anxiety, severe gag reflex, and those with special needs that will not allow them to cooperate for routine dental treatment. Our practice utilizes a certified anesthesiologist for cases where the patient may pose a threat to their own safety during treatment. This will be discussed with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the patient before treatment to ensure the optimum beneficial outcome.

Sedation dentistry is most helpful for:

  • Infants
  • Children who require major treatment
  • A very anxious child
  • Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion)
  • Children with a strong gag reflex
  • Children who are medically compromised or have special needs