Children who are very young, or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the dentist to perform treatment, may require some level of sedation. Sedation is also helpful for children with special needs.
Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen (laughing gas) sedation is an option for children who are mildly apprehensive. This highly effective method is administered as an inhalation using nitrous oxide and oxygen mix. (N20-02). Children generally stay awake while using this type of sedation.
Deep sedation or general anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. This will be discussed with the parents/guardians of the patient before treatment to ensure the optimum beneficial outcome.
Sedation dentistry is most helpful for:
- Children who require major treatment
- A very anxious child
- Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion)
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who have extensive medical or special needs