Is dental sedation safe for children?

Posted Oct 28th, 2019 in General Information, Preparing Your Child, Pediatric Dentistry

Is dental sedation safe for children?

Dental sedation may be recommended for your child if they are scheduled to undergo a long complex dental procedure, or if your child is very young, nervous or has special needs. Here, our Langley children's dentist explains more. 


Perhaps you feel uneasy about your child being sedated in order to receive dental treatment. Our dentists are often asked if sedation is safe for children while they are undergoing dental treatment.

When dental sedation is administered by trained and experienced dental professionals, sedation and anesthesia are a safe way for children to receive the necessary and critical dental healthcare they require.

Visiting the dentist can be frightening and extremely stressful for many children. By reducing the stress and anxiety of levels of a particularly nervous child, sedation can play a key role in providing children with a positive dental experiences.

Types of Sedation for Children

3 types of sedation commonly used for children:

Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, can help to calm young patients who are feeling anxious, nervous or frightened. Nitrous Oxide is delivered via a face mask, and will relax the patient and promote euphoric feelings, but will not make the patient unconscious or impair their reflexes. 

Oral sedation can take up to 20 minutes to take effect, so it's given to the patient when they first arrive for their dental appointment. Oral sedation will not make the patient unconscious, but patients often dose off during the procedure.

General anesthesia may be recommend by our children's dentists for patients with high pain sensitivity, serious behavioural challenges, limited understanding and/or with special needs. Under general anesthesia the patient becomes unconscious so that their reflexes are completely relaxed. Patients will have no memory of the procedure once they wake, and will not feel pain during the procedure.

At Smile Town in Langley your child's safety and comfort are our priority. Our team has extensive training in dental sedation for children. We are always happy to answer any questions that you might have about dental sedation or the dental procedure. 

If you have questions about dental sedation for children, contact our Langley children's dentist. 

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