It seems as though toddlers follow a similarly based adage to Murphy’s Law – if they are supposed to be still, they will wiggle.  While it’s humorous and often quite true, when it comes to dental procedures, the wiggles can actually be harmful.  A sudden movement while a dental instrument is in the oral cavity can produce pain or harm to your child.

In order to promote a safe environment for your child, dentists employ a variety of pediatric sedation and anesthesia methods that are best suited to your child and the present situation.

Pediatric Sedation and Anesthesia Methods Explained

The following methods are the most commonly used ones among dentists nationwide:

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide simply induces a state of relaxation upon your child.  This gas is mixed with oxygen and is able to put your child in a happy and calm state of mind, often producing the giggles (hence it’s name).   It is administered through a small mask and is used most often for small children that simply need a limitation on the amount of energy coursing through their little body.

This may be used for young children that are particularly active during simple dental checkups, or can even be administered for older children that are anxious about a necessary procedure.  This is a gentle and safe sedation method to ensure successful dental care.

Oral Conscious Sedation

This method of sedation produces an extremely relaxed state in the patient, but consciousness is retained.  This is usually given to a child in the form of a sweet liquid quickly working to relax the child and may even produce drowsiness.  Interaction will still be present between the dentist and the child.

This method is often used when nitrous oxide alone is not enough to induce a state of calm.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia affects the entire body and produces a loss of consciousness.  This procedure is used only in cases where the child is highly agitated, requires extensive work, or has medical issues that require special treatment.

This form of sedation is only to be administered by professionals trained in the medical field of anesthesiology, a CRNA or an anesthesiologists.  Depending upon your dentist’s policy, this may require that the procedure be done in the hospital, where the specialists will administer the anesthesia and monitor your child the entire time.

Sedation and Anesthesia for Kids at Kangaroo Smiles

At Kangaroo Smiles, we take the responsibility and health of your children seriously.  We only use methods of pediatric sedation and anesthesia that have been approved by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and we strictly follow the guidelines laid out for safety and success in each of these methods.

These sedation options for children can provide a safer, stress-free procedure for you and your child.  If you have any questions concerning the methods used or the situations in which sedation would be helpful, please call our office at (978) 425-1496. Dr. Mona is happy to answer any of your questions and determine the best method for your child.


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