Is dental sedation safe for children?

Is dental sedation safe for children?

If your child is scheduled to undergo a long complex procedure, or if your child is very young, nervous or has special needs, your dentist may recommend dental sedation. Here's more from our Delta children's dentist on dental sedation for kids.


Dental sedation is a safe and effective way for children to receive dental treatment that would otherwise be too stressful or even impossible for them to undergo. 

Many parents may feel uneasy about using dental sedation on children, and our dentists are often asked if dental sedation is safe for kids.

When done by a trained and experienced dental professional, yes, sedation and anesthesia are safe for children and can be crucial to providing children with the critical dental healthcare they need.

A visit to the dentist can be stressful and frightening for many children. Our goal is to provide your child with positive dental experiences. By reducing the stress and anxiety of levels of a particularly nervous child we can get them the treatment they need and achieve our goal of providing them with a comfortable and positive experience while in our office.

Sedation for Children

As with adults, there are three types of sedation commonly used for children:

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral sedation can take 20 minutes to take effect, so it is given to the patient when they first arrive for their appointment. The sedation medication can be taken by mouth or through the nose to achieve oral conscious sedation. Your dentist at Smile Town North Delta will recommend the most appropriate oral sedation medication for your child, and will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have about any aspect of the the dental sedation or the actual procedure. 

Oral conscious sedation will not make the patient patient unconscious. It will however, make the patient drowsy. In fact, some patients even dose off during the dental procedure. After the sedation wears off, patients often have no memory of the dental procedure.

Nitrous Oxide

Frequently referred to as 'laughing gas', nitrous Oxide can help to calm young patients who are feeling particularly scared, nervous or anxious about their visit to the dentist. Nitrous Oxide is delivered to the patient via a face mask. The patient breathes in the nitrous oxide and within a few minutes they will begin to relax and experience feelings of euphoria. This form of dental sedation will not impair the child's reflexes or make them unconscious. In order to clear any remaining nitrous oxide from their system, after the dental procedure has been completed the patient will be given pure oxygen.

General Anesthesia

If your child has serious behavioural challenges, special needs, limited understanding and/or high pain sensitivity our dentists may recommend general anesthesia be used during the procedure.

General anesthesia causes the patient to become unconscious and completely relaxes their reflexes. Patients do not feel pain during the procedure, and they will not have any memory of the procedure afterwards.

Your child's safety and comfort are our top priorities. Our team at Smile Town North Delta has extensive training in dental sedation for children.

If you have questions about dental sedation for children, please contact us. We're happy to answer any questions you may have.

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