Oral Sedation

Oral sedation, commonly referred to as “conscious sedation”, involves the administration of one or more mild sedatives (in liquid form), usually in combination with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This form of sedation allows for a more profound level of relaxation and calmness than with nitrous oxide alone, yet allows the child to remain partially awake during the procedure and have their treatment completed in our office.

The sedative(s) recommended for your child is/are dependent upon many factors, some of which include: your child’s age, your child’s weight, the presence of any medical/systemic conditions, level of anxiety, and extent of dental treatment needs

Before administrating any sedatives, our experienced team will educate you about the process of sedation, including preoperative and postoperative instructions. Some common side effects include nausea, vomiting, hiccups and dizziness. Some children may become more emotional after the sedation due to uninhibitied emotions. All of these side effects will fully subside when the sedative is worn off, which typically requires 2-4 hours. Recommendations made will be based upon what is in the best interest of your child.


General anesthetic involves the use of sedative agents administered by an experienced medical anesthesiologist, to place your child completely asleep during the dental treatment. This can be done in-office or in a hospital setting depending on each case.  It may be recommended for any of several reasons, some of which are listed below:

  • A young and pre-cooperative age
  • Moderate to high levels of anxiety and nervousness regarding dental treatment
  • Presence of a medically compromising condition
  • Extensive dental treatment needs, including early childhood decay

The presence of any of the aforementioned reasons may make it difficult, if not impossible, for your child to cooperate and allow for treatment to be completed in a safe and effective manner in the dental office setting. The ultimate goal is to maintain a positive dental experience for your child, while simultaneously accomplishing the best possible treatment.