Sedation Dentistry for Children: Types & Safety Measures Explained

Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN

Dentists and some dental treatments may cause fear in children. This is usually due to apprehension about the unknown. Going to a kid-friendly, enjoyable Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN may help youngsters relax. Dental fear in children tends to fade after being used to the dentist’s office.

Sedation dentistry is a possibility for children who have a severe dental fear, are very young and need many dental treatments, or those with specific needs who would struggle with dental operations. Sedation may help children relax and feel at ease throughout their treatment, enabling them to safely get the care they need. Depending on the kind of dental sedation used, they may not even remember the treatment, which may help children avoid developing dental anxiety.

The Different Types of Sedation for Children

Sedation dentistry is divided into many categories, ranging from moderate sedation such as nitrous oxide or laughing gas to full anesthesia. Sedation options for children include:

Oral Conscious Sedation: In this kind of sedation, the Kids Dentist Indianapolis IN gives your kid an oral sedative, which may provide mild to moderate sedation depending on the medicine and dose. During the process, children will be awake, though they may fall asleep, and will be able to move and react to orders. Some questions have been raised regarding the safety of oral conscious sedation for children, and although we do not use it at our clinic, it is available at certain dental practices.

Nitrous oxide is a moderate, harmless sedative that does not put patients to sleep and wears off rapidly. We use a mask to give your youngster a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen. They will feel comfortable, tranquil, euphoric, and a little foolish after breathing it in for a few minutes. When children are given laughing gas, they are alert and able to react to orders. Laughing gas not only relieves tension but also relieves pain. Your youngster will breathe pure oxygen when we’re through, and the nitrous oxide effects will fade off in a few minutes.

Anesthesia (general): General anesthesia may be administered when therapy cannot be performed safely while the kid is awake and laughing gas is ineffective. Your kid will be monitored during the treatment, and anesthesia will be provided under the supervision of a board-certified anesthesiologist. Your youngster will be in a deep slumber while under general anesthetic. They won’t be able to feel or recall anything about the surgery.

When Is It Appropriate to Sedate Children for Dental Work?

Every child is different when it comes to when they should be sedated for dental procedures. Children Dental Center Indianapolis IN aim to employ behavioral and relaxation strategies first. If none of these methods work, we’ll explore sedation dentistry. Sedation may be required for the following reasons:


  • Children who suffer from severe dental phobia
  • Children under the age of one, such as newborns or toddlers, who need substantial treatment that would necessitate numerous visits without anesthesia
  • Children with specific requirements, such as medical, mental, or behavioral issues, whose behaviors or movements during dental operations may endanger them
  • Any youngster who cannot comply with obtaining necessary dental treatment, such as those who have difficulty sitting still or who have a strong gag reflex.

There are many advantages of dental sedation for children in these situations:

  • Dulls or eliminates pain feelings, depending on the kind of dental sedation • Relaxes youngsters, making the session stress-free for both the patient and the parent
  • Allows the dentist to do long, difficult, or delicate treatments in one visit, rather than requiring repeated visits from your kid.
  • It keeps kids safe from unintentional injuries if they struggle or move about during operations with general anesthesia.
  • Keeps kids safe from the unexpected injuries that can occur if they struggle or move around during procedures with general anesthesia
  • Procedures may be completed more quickly and successfully by a pediatric dentist, saving you time.

Is it Safe for a Child to Have Dental Sedation?

Yes, dental sedation is safe for a kid if administered by a skilled dentist who employs the most up-to-date equipment and practices.

Laughing gas is the fastest and most convenient option for children. It has been used safely as a kind of sedation dentistry for over a century. “Recognizes nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation as a safe and effective treatment to alleviate anxiety, generate analgesia, and increase effective communication between a patient and a health professional,” according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

While general anesthesia is more complicated, improvements in medicine and technology have made it just as safe to receive general anesthesia in the office under the supervision of an anesthesiologist as it is in a hospital or surgical center. Because serious tooth decay or a dental infection may substantially affect your kid’s health and well-being, the advantages of utilizing general anesthesia to provide important treatment to a child greatly exceed the dangers in many circumstances.

Will My Child Experience Side Effects From Sedation Dentistry?

  • Most patients have no adverse reactions to nitrous oxide, and as the gas wears out after a few minutes, they may resume their normal routine.
  • Inhaling too much nitrous oxide might produce nausea and dizziness for a short period. We can give the precise quantity of laughing gas toddlers, and children need because we employ innovative equipment at Childrens Dentist Indianapolis IN, ensuring this does not happen.
  • After the anesthetic, your kid will most likely be fatigued for up to a day.
  • Your child’s nose, mouth, and throat may be numb for 45 minutes after the treatment.
  • Some children have a little sore throat for a day or two following general anesthesia.

Dental Sedation: How to Prepare Your Child

It’s a good idea to explain what to anticipate from dental sedation to your kid and the operation itself in words they can comprehend. Use phrases like “shot” or “drill” to avoid frightening them. Instead, tell them that the dentist will make their teeth healthy and strong and that they will either “feel silly” or “fall asleep” during the procedure.

We advise not feeding your kid any solid food or non-clear beverage after midnight the night before the appointment, including milk and juice. If your kid is thirsty, give them a few sips of water up to two hours before the visit. Moreover, unless we advise you otherwise, continue to give your child’s daily medicine.