Sedation Options

Sleep Dentistry and General Anesthesia

NITROUS OXIDE

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is administered by inhalation and is commonly referred to as “laughing gas”. A mask is fitted over your child’s nose, and as he or she breathes, there will be a feeling of relaxation. Nitrous oxide also raises the pain threshold so your child will feel less during the procedure. Any child who is feeling nervous or anxious about dental treatment may benefit from the use of nitrous oxide. It is extremely safe and well-tolerated by patients of all ages. At the end of the procedure, the nitrous oxide is turned off and there are no lasting effects.

From a practical standpoint, we ask children to pick a smell that they like (strawberry, vanilla, cotton candy) and place the smell inside the mask. During the procedure, we simply place the mask on the child’s nose and ask them to smell.

ORAL SEDATION

This technique involves giving your child medication by mouth for the purpose of reducing anxiety or discomfort. At Vaughan Children’s Dentistry, we only use oral sedation medications that are reversible, and sedation procedures are only provided once your child has had a thorough assessment.
During the sedation procedure, your child may fall asleep or may remain awake. To ensure patient safety, we follow strict guidelines and monitoring protocols set out by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

The most common medications given orally are Midazolam and Triazolam. These are in the same class of medications as Ativan or Valium. The goal of these medications is to provide anti-anxiety.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA

For young children with extensive dental treatment, general anesthesia may be the safest and most effective form of sedation. This involves treatment with the child “asleep”.