Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry in Henderson

Sedation dentistry involves the administration of a mild sedative drug to help calm your child for a procedure. There are several instances when your child’s dentist may recommend the use of sedation during dental care, such as:

  • To manage special needs or anxiety – your child is unable to sit still
  • When your child is very fearful of dental care
  • When the safety of your child may be compromised
  • When several procedures are scheduled at the same time – long or multiple procedures
  • If your child exhibits a strong “gag” reflex

Benefits of Sedation

Sedation may be recommended to enhance your child’s safety and comfort during a dental procedure. It can help to reduce anxiety and increase cooperation when receiving treatment. That said, sedation doesn’t control pain. After administering the sedation drugs, your child’s dentist will then administer an injection in the treatment area to numb it and keep it pain-free for the duration of the procedure and a short period after - usually up to six hours later.

What to expect

There are various medications that can be used to sedate a child. The appropriate medication will depend on your child’s level of anxiety, overall health, and required dental treatment. Different strengths of medication may also be used to achieve the desired level of sedation.

The sedatives can be administered in different ways, including:

  • Oral sedation – whereby your child swallows the medication an hour before the procedure. The strength of the dose may produce a mild to moderate sedative effect
  • Inhaled sedation – a nasal mask is used to administer a mixture of Nitrogen oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen, resulting in mild sedation. It’s the most common option for children's sedation.
  • IV sedation – the medication is administered intravenously for instant results, resulting in moderate sedation.
  • General anesthesia and Deep sedation – administered via an inhaled solution

After administering the medication, it may take about an hour before your child shows signs of sedation and is ready for treatment. At this point, your child may become relaxed and/or drowsy, and may even drift into a light sleep from which he/she can be easily aroused.

Child safety

It’s important that sedation be performed by an experienced pediatric dentist to ensure the safety of the child. Your dentist will also instruct you on how to care for your child before and after sedation dentistry.