When Should You Choose a Sedation Dentist for Your Child?

A visit to the dentist should always be positive and worry-free. However, it can be difficult when your child is nervous or fears trips to the dentist. This fear can manifest in the form of stress or anxiety that often hinders a child’s experience. If your child has multiple cavities or requires more extensive dental work, choosing a sedation dentist can help provide you and your family peace of mind during dental treatments and procedures.

Benefits of a Sedation Dentist

With the latest technology, guidance and expertise your dentist can easily alleviate dental fear in young patients with sedation dentistry. Often, working closely with your dental provider to discuss options for treatment that requires sedation can allow both you and your child to find their visit to be stress-free.

Sedation Options for Children

Conscious sedation can offer your child a safe, relaxing trip to the dentist. Your sedation dentist may suggest one or more of these options to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Conscious sedation is administered by inhaling gas, swallowing medication in a pill form, an injection, or for more extensive dental work, intravenously. Utilizing sedation during treatments and procedures will allow your child to feel less anxious before and during treatment. If your child requires a significant amount of dental treatment or has special needs, working with a sedation dentist who specializes in children’s care can help.

  • Nitrous Oxide: Also known as “laughing gas” this type of sedation is recommended for children who are moderately anxious. This type of sedation is safe and provides a level of comfort for both you and your child during dental treatments. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and administered through a small mask over the nose. Your child will be awake throughout the procedure and can easily interact with your dentist.
  • Oral Sedation: Oral sedation is used when a child may require stronger medication than nitrous oxide. This type of sedation works best for children who are extremely anxious about their dental treatments. Your sedation dentist will consider your child’s anxiety level, ability to cooperate and treatment needs before oral sedation is administered.
  • General Anesthesia: In some cases, your child will need to be unconscious for your dentist to safely administer dental treatment. This type of sedation is commonly used for children who require more extensive dental work.


Discussing your options with your dental provider is the best way to help alleviate dental fear in children. Encouraging good oral hygiene at home can help prevent the need for more extensive dental work. However, if your child is extremely anxious about their upcoming dental treatment needs, call the friendly and expert team at Kids 4 Ever Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about sedation options.

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