Pediatric Sedation

Pediatric sedation dentistry.

Going to the dentist can be a new adventure for children, so it is not surprising that many times a child is anxious and scared.

Pediatric sedation dentistry is an option when a child goes to the dentist, as it can reduce the discomfort the child may have when going to the dental clinic.

Many times pediatric sedation dentistry can cause some adverse effects, such as nausea or dizziness. However, these effects will disappear very soon, and the child will soon feel completely normal again.

Pediatric sedation dentistry can be used in several cases, such as in very long dental procedures, where the child will probably not sit still for hours in the same position. Or when the sound of dental instruments may disturb or frighten the child.

Usually, pediatric sedation dentistry is used in very young children or children with disorders such as hyperactivity, children with special needs, or children with a great fear of the dentist, as it is necessary for the child to remain completely still, thus avoiding any further complications.

One of the advantages of pediatric sedation dentistry is that it minimizes the perception of pain, and thus, any trace of fear or stress will disappear.

During sedation, the pediatric patient will remain conscious, able to comply with the dental professional’s orders but will be so relaxed that any discomfort will disappear.

Is pediatric sedation dentistry safe for the child?

Most children come to the pediatric dentist because of dental decay or trauma, and therefore the use of sedatives may be necessary to calm the child. These sedatives usually include local analgesics, benzodiazepines, nitrous oxide, or opioids. In order to be able to give it to children, the dentist must make a thorough investigation to indicate that the child is not allergic and is not at risk.

It is very rare that any serious inconvenience occurs when administering sedatives to children. Almost all dental procedures that require sedation go very well and are completely safe.

So it can be said that pediatric dentistry is completely safe for children.

What types of pediatric sedation dentistry are there?

Normally there are different types of sedation dentistry. Each one has its advantages. Therefore, the dentist will evaluate the medical history of each child, in order to decide which is the most convenient type of sedation.

The sedation that will be applied to the child will allow him or her to enter into a state of relaxation, to avoid any type of eventuality and discomfort, but without losing consciousness, therefore, the child will not lose his or her reflexes and will be able to maintain communication with the pediatric dental specialist.

Among the types of pediatric sedation dentistry, the following stand out:

  1. Nitrous oxide: 

Nitrous oxide is recommended for those children who may suffer from a lot of stress or anxiety. Nitrous oxide may also be known as “laughing gas”. This type of sedative is administered via the respiratory route and is completely painless. Nitrous oxide usually does not cause the child to have any type of adverse reaction.

The nitrous oxide will be given to the child through an oxygen mask, and it usually has a very mild odor. Nitrous oxide sedation will take effect very quickly, in about 3 to 5 minutes.

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, will cause the child to enter a state of relaxation and happiness, and by the time the dental procedure is completed, its effect will wear off in about 3 to 5 minutes.

  1. Intravenous sedation:

As the name implies, with intravenous sedation it is necessary to inject the child with a substance that will sedate him/her, in order to be able to perform the dental procedure that the child needs.

Typically intravenous sedation is used for dental procedures that will be very lengthy.

Intravenous sedation will allow the child to relax during the medical visit and avoid any inconvenience.

In order for everything to go well, the child should avoid eating any food the night before, with the exception of drinking water.

  1. Oral sedation:

Oral sedation is given to children who cannot remain still for a long time. Oral sedatives may be given by liquid medication or by pill.

Food and beverages should be limited from the day before, except for clear liquids such as water.

Oral sedation may cause some discomfort in children, such as nausea or dizziness. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to prepare their children the day before.


In addition to all this, it can be said that general anesthesia is also a type of sedation, only that during its administration, the child will not remain conscious. General anesthesia will allow the child to be pain-free and asleep during the whole process.

What will happen after pediatric sedation dentistry?

Upon completion of the dental procedure, the dentist may call the parents to meet with their child. The sedative effect will wear off very quickly.

Sometimes children do not experience any side effects when they come out of sedation, however, sometimes children may experience discomfort, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. These discomforts will disappear quickly.

It is important that the child remains calm for the rest of the day.

Are there side effects in pediatric sedation dentistry?

There are indeed adverse effects when it comes to pediatric sedation dentistry. It is not very common for children to suffer side effects, this can occur.

During intravenous sedation, there may be damage to the child’s blood vessels or pain in the arm due to the prick of the injection. 

Sometimes itching of the skin can also occur, but this is even less common.

It is very rare for this to occur, and if it does, the dentist will prescribe medication to soothe the adverse effects.

It is very important that, as a parent, you go to a clinic with the best-specialized staff, where they will treat you and your child well.

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