How Safe is Sedation For Children?

Posted Dec 16th, 2015 in Helpful Tips for Parents, Pediatric Dentistry

How Safe is Sedation For Children?

At Smile Town North Delta, our dentists recommend sedation in situations where children feel a great deal of anxiety about their dental care, or have special needs that would otherwise make sustained oral care impossible.


Sedation for children can be a scary idea for parents. People sometimes feel intimidated by the thought of sedation and anesthesia, because they think of  them as appropriate only for serious surgery.

The idea of giving sedation drugs to a child can seem a little off-putting, especially when it comes to dental treatment. Parents wonder whether it’s worth it for a simple dental procedure.

The fact is that while sedation and anesthesia certainly ought be taken seriously, and only used when necessary, in the hands of an trained and experienced medical professional, they’re quite safe.

And for certain children, they’re the only way to provide sufficient dental care.

Why Do Dentists Use Sedation For Children?

Dentists will use sedation for children when caring for their dental health without it is too stressful, painful or difficult for the child in question.

This could happen as a result of anxiety. Some kids feel a high levels of fear, anxiety, or discomfort when visiting the dentist. In some cases, it can be nearly impossible for the dentist to provide the child with sufficient care without administering sedation.

Children who have special needs that make sustained oral care difficult or impossible are also good candidates for sedation during dental procedures.

What Types of Sedation Are There?

There are 3 primary types of sedation that we use at Smile Town North Delta.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It calms anxious, fearful patients, but doesn’t impair their reflexes or render them unconscious.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation can be achieved with various medications. We'll discuss the most appropriate medication choice for your child with you ahead of time.

Patients on whom we use oral conscious sedation don't typically become unconscious, but rather become drowsy and nod off occasionally during the procedure. Many don’t even remember their dental appointment afterwards.

General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia renders patients unconscious. We recommend anesthesia for patients with an unusually high sensitivity to pain, extreme behaviour challenges, or limited comprehension.

Whatever form of sedation we ultimately recommend for your child, you can rest assured that our caring team of dental professionals has extensive experience and training in the administration of these medications. Your child will be safe, and will be able to undergo treatment in comfort.

Do you have any questions about sedation and dentistry for children in Delta and Surrey? Feel free to get in touch with our team. We’ll be glad to discuss all your options with you.

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