Sedation Dentistry

One of the challenges of pediatric dentistry is to consistently provide effective and efficient restorative treatment in a manner that is safe and comfortable for the child. At Cornerstone Children’s Dentistry, we are committed to providing excellent care and a positive dental experience. In our office, children may watch movies on ceiling-mounted televisions while restorative treatment is provided. In addition, many patients also benefit from the use of sedation to help alleviate anxiety and increase cooperation. We offer differing levels of sedation, depending on the specific needs of the child.

Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) inhalation provides a safe method of analgesia (pain relief) and reduction of anxiety associated with dental procedures. In this minimal sedation technique, a disposable scented mask fits over the child’s nose, allowing the patient to breathe a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen. The use of nitrous oxide is very effective in limiting the discomfort associated with the injection of local anesthetic (“Novacaine”) used to numb the mouth. Most school-age children and those with only mild anxiety about restorative treatment will cooperate fully and even enjoy their dental visit with the use of nitrous oxide.

Conscious sedation is a technique in which a sedative medication is administered in addition to nitrous oxide inhalation which provides mild to moderate sedation for the young or fearful child. The specific sedative used is determined by the age of the child, medical history, extent of treatment needs, and degree of anxiety and uncooperative behavior. Conscious sedation medications may be given by either an oral or intranasal route, depending on the particular sedative, and they are administered in the office so that the patient may be appropriately monitored before, during, and after treatment.

If your child needs restorative treatment, Dr. Paul will discuss with you the options of sedation and share his recommendation for making it a positive dental experience for your child. Regardless of what level of sedation is used, parents are always allowed and encouraged to accompany the child to the treatment area.