Why Choose Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry has a lot of benefits for kids. It can help them feel more safe, comfortable, and relaxed during their procedure. Even the bravest kids may be scared if they’re having a procedure like a dental filling for the first time! Sedation can help them feel less anxious, and prevent them from feeling traumatized by their first dental procedure.

In addition, sedation helps prevent your child from feeling any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Along with local numbing, sedation dentistry works to mitigate any feelings of pain throughout their procedure.

A more practical benefit of sedation dentistry is that it helps keep your child still and quiet throughout their appointment, which means we can perform the procedure more quickly. Even the best-behaved child may have trouble sitting still for 1-2 hours or longer, so sedation can be very helpful.

Finally, sedation dentistry can help with fear of needles, such as numbing needles, and it inhibits the gag reflex, which makes it easier for Dr. Benjamin Burkitt to perform procedures like placing a filling on your child’s rear tooth. 

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Toddlers?

Yes. Sedation dentistry is safe for patients of all ages. Dr. Burkitt will work with qualified professionals to ensure that your child receives the appropriate dose of sedative medication based on their age, weight, gender, and other factors.

At our office, we offer the choice of both laughing gas and oral conscious sedation. Laughing gas sedation consists of a gas that your child will breathe through a nose mask, while oral conscious sedation is a liquid sedative your child must swallow. 

For most toddlers, laughing gas is a simpler and less expensive option. If you’re not sure which sedation method is right for your child, we recommend consulting with Dr. Benjamin Burkitt for his advice. 

What Does Sedation Feel Like? 

This depends on the type of sedation your child receives, laughing gas or oral conscious sedation.

Laughing gas is the most minimal type of sedation available at our office. In this type of sedation, the patient will breathe in a mixture of oxygen and laughing gas. The laughing gas will make your child feel a bit “floaty” and disconnected from the things that are happening around them. 

It’s also common for patients (especially kids) to think that things are strangely funny, so your kid may start giggling for no reason. That’s normal. Your child will remain fully conscious and responsive to commands throughout the procedure, and won’t experience any serious changes in their mental state. The effects of this type of sedation wear off within just a few minutes.

Oral conscious sedation, which uses a strong liquid sedative, feels a bit different. Your child will take the sedative about 1-2 hours before their appointment. They will start to feel very groggy and tired and may seem confused about what’s happening around them. 

It’s very common for kids to fall asleep during their procedure with this type of sedation. However, your child will never be unconscious, and can still be roused. It’s also likely that your child will forget most or all of what happened in their procedure. This is known as “anterograde amnesia.” The side effects of oral conscious sedation are a bit more intense and will last about 4-6 hours after your child’s treatment. 


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