How Safe is Sedation For Children?

Posted Nov 18th, 2015 in Helpful Tips for Parents, Pediatric Dentistry

How Safe is Sedation For Children?

At Smile Town Dentistry in Langley, our dentists recommend sedation for children who feel a great deal of anxiety when it comes to dental care, or who have special needs that would otherwise make sustained oral care impossible.


Sedation for children can be a bit scary for parents. People are often intimidated by sedation and anesthesia, and think of them as only appropriate for serious surgery.

The idea of giving these serious drugs to a child can seem very off-putting, especially when it comes to dental care. Parents wonder if it’s worth it just for a simple dental procedure.

In fact, while sedation and anesthesia should indeed be taken seriously, and only used when necessary, in the hands of an experienced and trained medical professional, they’re very safe.

And for some children, they’re the only way to make sufficient dental care possible.

Why Do Dentists Use Sedation For Children?

Dentists use sedation for children in situations where caring for their oral health without it is too stressful or difficult for the child in question.

This could be due to anxiety issues. Some children feel a great deal of anxiety, fear, or discomfort when it comes to visiting the dentist. In some cases, this makes it nearly impossible for the dentist to provide the child with sufficient care without administering sedation.

Children with special needs that make sustained oral care difficult, or even impossible, are also good candidates for sedation during dental procedures.

What Types of Sedation Are There?

There are 3 main types of sedation we use at Smile Town Langley.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide calms patients who feel anxious or afraid, but it doesn’t impair their reflexes, or render them unconscious.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation can be achieved with several different medications. We'll discuss the most appropriate choice for your child with you ahead of time.

Patients on whom we use oral conscious sedation aren’t usually rendered unconscious, but they do become drowsy enough to nod off occasionally throughout the procedure, and many don’t remember their dental appointment at all.

General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia renders patients unconscious. We will recommend anesthesia for patients with extreme behaviour challenges, limited comprehension, or an unusually high sensitivity to pain.

Whatever form of sedation is ultimately recommended for your child, rest assured that our competent team of dental professionals has extensive experience and training in administering these medications. Your child will not only be safe, but will be able to undergo treatment comfortably.

If you have any questions about sedation and dentistry for children, feel free to get in touch with our team. We’ll be glad to discuss all your options with you.

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