Some children require special care during dental treatment due to their young age, excessive fear, inability to cooperate and/or extensive treatment needs. Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medication to help children relax so they are less fearful and anxious, and are better able to cooperate during dental treatment. Minimal patient movement during dental treatment helps prevent injury and enables the dentist to work more efficiently, keeping the dental experience positive for your child. It’s important to note that sedation is NOT the same as general anesthesia, and your child will NOT be asleep like they would be in a hospital. Instead, they will be relaxed and sleepy.
We offer two kinds of conscious sedation:
Nitrous Oxide Sedation for Kids
Nitrous oxide is a very quick-acting, inhaled (breath-in) sedation medicine that decreases discomfort and anxiety. It is sometimes called laughing gas, and is often given in dental offices.
Your child will inhale the medicine through a mask, breathing in and out normally through the nose. He or she can choose the scent of the mask, including bubble gum and strawberry. The nitrous oxide will make your child feel relaxed, happy and sleepy. It will be given a few minutes before the procedure starts and may continue until it’s finished.
Once the mask is removed, nitrous oxide wears off quickly, and children typically wake up comfortably. By the time you leave the office, the effect of nitrous oxide generally completely wears off.
Oral Conscious Sedation for Kids
In addition to nitrous oxide, your child can be given an oral, liquid medication to help them relax further.
To ensure the safety of your child, we are trained to follow the sedation guidelines by the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentist.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about these options for your child.