Sedation Options For Your Child



No matter their age, it’s always difficult seeing your child in pain or discomfort. When they’re in pain, so are you. Unfortunately, a lot of kids are scared of the dentist which can make a simple check-up a source of terror for them. The good news is, there are plenty of safe sedation options that can range from a dreamy state to being completely asleep. Dr. Vlahos will suggest the best option to provide the safest, most pain-free treatment for your child.

The following information is a breakdown of the different types of sedation. It’s important for parents to understand each option.


Nitrous Oxide

This sedative is the most mild and least invasive. It’s commonly known as “laughing gas” for the effects it has on you. Children inhale the sedative but they don’t usually go to sleep, most will just feel more relaxed. A lot of children enjoy feeling a little silly and lightheaded, but there are the occasional times where they don’t. Luckily it does wear off quickly.


Mild Sedation

This medication is commonly used on older children (teenagers) and adults. Your child will be awake with a calming effect. They should be conscious enough to do what the dentist or surgeon asks them to do. Once the procedure is complete, your child might not remember parts about the dental visit due to the mental fog. Dentists and oral surgeons can safely provide these medications while they operate, because your child remains awake. Just like freezing, they may add more during the process.


Moderate Sedation

Under moderate sedation, your child will become very sleepy but not to the point where they’re completely asleep. They are usually still able to do what the dentist or oral surgeon asks them to do on their own, however most children will not remember anything about the procedure. Dentists and oral surgeons can safely give these medications while they do the dental work.


Deep Sedation

Deep Sedation involves intravenous (IV) medications to help your child stay completely asleep throughout the procedure. Their movements, if any, will be very subtle. They will require assisted breathing which is why there should always be at least one additional qualified professional monitoring your child’s heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and breathing. This is done both during the procedure after they wake up. Our team of professionals will also determine when your child is ready to go home safely.


General Anesthesia

This is used for more extreme needs, such as an issue requiring extensive oral surgery. Under general anesthesia, your child will be completely asleep and pain free. Specially-trained anesthesia professionals (physicians, dentists, or certified nurse anesthetists) will administer medications and monitor your child while the dentist or oral surgeon performs the dental procedure or surgery. Anesthesia can be given in a dental office that is specially equipped, an ambulatory surgical center (ASC), or a hospital.

Your child’s safety is in good hands here at Dr. Vlahos Dentistry. For more information, questions that need answering, or to schedule a visit, please contact us through email or give us a call at (905) 937-4673