Most dental procedures in children are completed using local anesthesia, however, very young, fearful or uncooperative children may also require sedation. Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry follows the administration guidelines for safe sedation endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Using sedation safely is extremely important and this is why Drs. Rowley, Ruder, Shavron and Psaltis dedicate many continuing education hours specific to this topic. We offer several different sedation options including: care with nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, in-office general anesthesia, and in-hospital general anesthesia.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps anxious children relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to our team during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for three to five minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and/or vomiting.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation involves giving an oral medication, often in combination with nitrous oxide sedation which renders the child awake but relaxed for treatment. We use a variety of different medications for this type of procedure. Some are given in the office and some more mild sedatives we ask you to pick up at the pharmacy. This is recommended for children that need a deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide alone.