Treatment Options

Sedation Dentistry

Imagine your child undergoing a complex dental treatment like an extraction, or filling a large cavity that also needs a crown.  We are pleased to offer children the option of comfortable, safe and effective sedation dentistry.  Our pediatric dental patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:

  • Fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
  • Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time
  • A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry enables us to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for children who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist.  There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:

  • No memory of undergoing the procedure
  • No sense of time while under sedation
  • No sense of smell or sound
  • No fear or anxiety during treatment

Levels of Sedation

Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are three sedative states at which we can administer treatment: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.

  • Minimal Sedation (previously known as anxiolysis) - often used for children with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations.  Your little one will remain awake or very sleepy throught the entire procedure and will be able to breathe normally, but he or she will feel a great sense of relaxation.  Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is a form of mild-to-moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.
  • Moderate Sedation - also referred to as conscious sedation, is used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures.  With conscious sedation,  your child may remain awake throughout the procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation.  However, sometimes the patient is so relaxed they may take a little nap.  This is perfectly fine as they are still easily aroused when prompted and can still breathe on their own.
  • Deep Sedation - Patients who receive deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their dental procedure.  They often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands even if they are awake at times during the procedure.

How Are Sedatives Administered?

  • Inhalation - Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most requently used method for easing mild-to-moderate anxiety.  Recovery is quick so your child can resume normal activities immediately.
  • Oral - An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation.  Your child will arrive to our office on an empty tummy and one of our trained assistants will ask your child to drink our special "sleepy juice".  Then you and your child will relax in the waiting room for 30-45 minutes while the mild sedative takes effect.  This will have your little one fully relaxed by the time we are ready to begin their dental treatment.  

Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for your son or daughter.