Whether it’s used to combat anxiety or provide comfort during a very painful procedure, sedation dentistry for children is completely safe as long as a child isn’t allergic to the substances used and doesn’t have any underlying conditions that can lead to complications.


It’s understandable why parents can get a bit nervous if their little one is about to be sedated for dental treatment. Below, we asked Dr. Brandon Hoang, our expert at iSmiles Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics, to discuss some of the myths and facts surrounding sedation for kids.


Myth: Dental sedation is used only for painful procedures


Dental sedation can make procedures and treatments painless, but it can also relieve stress and anxiety in children. It’s often used for children with a strong gag reflex as well.


Sedation using nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, can make your child relaxed, sleepy, and happy during their procedure. This allows the dentist to work with ease.


Myth: Sedation always involves an IV


If your child is afraid of needles, there are other options available such as pills or laughing gas. IV sedation is used only on children with severe anxiety who have trouble staying still during their treatment.


Fact: Each type of sedation varies in intensity


Some types of sedation may leave your child groggy and tired for hours, while others will keep your child happy and alert during dental appointments.


Sedation with laughing gas is the least intense type of sedation provided in the dental office and is used to relieve anxiety during treatment.


Pills make a child sleepier. Some may even fall asleep during the treatment because the level of relaxation is deeper.


The strongest type of sedation is IV sedation. With it, your child won’t feel anything at all, as they’ll fall asleep. The effects of IV sedation may last a few hours after the substance is injected into your child’s arm.


Fact: There are clear instructions for IV sedation before and after the procedure


IV sedation is safe for children, but parents must go through a few steps to ensure the sedation doesn’t have any negative effects on their child. Instructions may include skipping food the night before their dental visit and having only clear liquids about two to three hours before the anesthesia.


Learn more about pain-free dentistry for kids


If your child suffers from dental anxiety or requires treatments that may involve pain, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr.Hoang has extensive experience working with children and ensuring they feel comfortable and safe during dental treatments.

Have Questions?
We’ll Reply Quickly.

  • Please use this form for general information purposes only. DO NOT send personal health information through this form. Specific patient care must be addressed during your appointment.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Call Us Text Us
Skip to content