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Conscious & IV Sedations

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is defined as a moderate sedation by both the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Dental Association.  In this sedative state, the patient should be able to respond appropriately to repeated verbal stimulation or light touch.  For example, a patient under this type of sedation, should awaken and respond to their name or a gentle shoulder nudge.

Oral Conscious Sedation is performed by the pediatric dentist performing the procedure. The dentist will give the patient oral medications to ingest, usually 15 minutes before the procedure starts.  These medications then make the patient feel “sleepy” or “silly.” The patient is then taken to a private treatment room.

The pediatric dentist may then add nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and perform the procedure.   Many providers prefer the oral conscious sedation method because the child does not have to have any shots or IVs before the sedative takes effect.  However, the patient may need local anesthesia (numbing) before the dental work. In addition, the effects of oral sedation can last longer than the procedure time, up to a few hours, requiring monitoring by the parent.

IV Sedation
IV Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under IV sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist. We coordinate with Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates for our IV Sedation services.

Our office is proud to offer customized IV sedation dentistry that is safe and effective.
There are different types of sedation dentistry, and working together, you and your doctor will decide on a personalized treatment plan that will give your child the care he or she needs while ensuring comfort every step of the way.


How IV Sedation Dentistry Works
When you arrive at our practice, our staff will be waiting for you and will escort you and your child to a private consultation room. Once the anesthesiologist and team is ready, we will bring your child back to a private treatment room, where we will administer Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas” to help your child relax.


Your doctor will gently place an IV and administer medication to help your child into a deeper state of relaxation. Once treatment is complete, your child will wake up feeling refreshed, with little or no memory of the appointment and a beautiful new smile. Using sedation dentistry, we are able to complete many different procedures, including complex smile makeovers, in just one office visit.

Common Questions About IV Sedation Dentistry
We understand that before receiving treatment, you may have many questions about IV sedation dentistry. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about IV sedation dentistry.


Will my child feel anything during treatment?
In most cases, patients do not feel anything. There is very little discomfort, and many patients wake up feeling relaxed and comfortable with almost no memory of the treatment.


Is IV sedation dentistry the same as being unconscious?
No. Your child will still be conscious and responsive, however, he or she will be a deep state of relaxation.


Is IV sedation dentistry safe?
IV sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. Before starting treatment with IV sedation, the doctor will talk with you and help you decide if IV sedation is right for your child’s treatment.


How long will it take the sedation to wear off?
The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off depends on the dose received, how long the treatment is, and how quick your child’s body can recover.


Is my child a good candidate for IV sedation dentistry?
Any patients who experience dental anxiety are good candidates for IV sedation dentistry. If your child has any of the following fears or concerns, ask your doctor about IV sedation dentistry as an option for his or her next dental treatment:


  • Extreme dental anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist

  • Fear of needles and/or shots

  • Past traumatic dental experience

  • Can't handle the smells or noises of being at a dentist's office

  • Has overly sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or trouble getting numb

  • Requires a more complex dental treatment

  • Wishes to have a more comfortable dental treatment

If you feel that your child could benefit from IV sedation dentistry, please contact us and let us know how we can better accommodate your family’s needs.

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