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Pediatric Dental Sedation

Developing healthy dental hygiene habits helps protect your child’s teeth
throughout their entire lives, so getting started early is essential. 

Developing healthy dental hygiene habits helps protect your child’s teeth throughout their entire lives, so getting started early is essential. 

Sedation helps ensure that pediatric dental visits provide young patients with a comfortable experience and effective results. Often, children are intimidated by dental visits or otherwise unable to sit still during exams and 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…

that sedation runs on a spectrum of potency. Some children only require a small dose of medication to relax them and others require a combination of medicines. Dr. Mark and associate dentists will assess your child’s dental treatment needs and behavior and anxiety level to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of sedation are available for my child?

There several different types of pediatric sedation available to patients, ranging from mild to strong. Children are most often given nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This gas is inhaled through a nasal mask during the dental visit, providing a nearly 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 prior to the dental visit, as well as IV sedation or general anesthesia, 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?

Children may be candidates for pediatric moderate sedation if they have special needs, are very young, have difficulty sitting still, or have anxiety about visiting the dentist. Dr. Mark and associate dentists 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. At Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we often provide moderate sedation for dental treatment, but rarely provide sedation for cleanings and routine checkups.

What is pediatric moderate sedation?

The last thing we want is for your child to undergo a difficult or traumatic experience at the office. The challenge of undergoing dental treatment can be a lot for some kids, and pediatric moderate sedation allows us to create an environment for your child to receive the care that they need without the fuss! After reviewing medical history, undergoing a physical and dental assessment at the office, and reviewing pre-op and post-op instructions, we will determine if your child is a candidate for sedation. During the sedation procedure, your child will drink a medicine or combination of meds by mouth and will be monitored before, during, and after the procedure to ensure child safety and wellness. 

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

You will be given instructions for preparation prior to your appointment. 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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