Creating Comfortable & Positive Dental Experiences

Young boy wearing nitrous oxide sedation dentistry mask

At Trinity Pediatric Dentistry, we understand just how big of an impact a bad experience at the dental office can have on a child. It can potentially cause them to never want to go back. This can not only be heartbreaking for a parent to experience but also frustrating, as you want to do what’s best for your little one. Dr. Thorburn has over a decade of training and experience providing children’s sedation dentistry, which can help your little one have a fear-free, comfortable visit every time. Contact our team to find out if your child is a good candidate for pediatric sedation dentistry in Fort Worth.

Why Choose Trinity Pediatric Dentistry for Children’s Sedation Dentistry?

  • Pediatric Dentist with 10+ Years of Experience & Training
  • Same-Day & After-Hours Emergency Dentistry
  • We Take Great Care of Children with Special Needs

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Buttons on machine in dental office that read nitrous oxide and oxygen

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a fast-acting method of sedation that we administer in-office, once your child is in the treatment chair. We’ll place a small mask over their nose that will allow them to breathe in a colorless, odorless gas. Within seconds, they’ll feel a calming wave wash over them that erases any fears they may have of a treatment or their environment. Once their visit is complete, we’ll remove the mask and have them breathe in oxygen. After their appointment, they should have few to no lingering side effects, allowing them to carry on with the rest of their day like normal.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Person pouring liquid medicine into cap

Oral conscious sedation is a great option for children who feel mild to moderate anxiety or dental fear, or for those who aren’t able to sit comfortably in the treatment chair for a procedure. Before their appointment, we’ll prescribe them a single pill that will help calm their nerves and allow them to feel more comfortable during their visit. Because the effects can linger for several hours, we advise taking them home to rest and recover for the rest of the day.

IV Sedation

Close up of I V drip

IV sedation is one of the most potent forms of sedation we offer, making it excellent for children who require an extensive procedure, like a root canal or pulp therapy, or who are very anxious or fearful of the dental office. We administer the medication directly into the bloodstream for an immediate, relaxing effect. In many cases, children aren’t able to remember much about their visit if they receive IV sedation, which can be great for those with severe phobias.

Kids Sedation Dentistry FAQs

child getting nitrous oxide and giving a thumbs up

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Kids?

You may be a little bit surprised to hear that sedatives are available for children, but not only are they safe, they are also an excellent way to help anxious children get to the dentist. Of course, children will require a smaller dosage than adults in order to feel the effects of the sedative, so nitrous oxide—being the mildest sedative in dentistry—is what’s used for them most often.

The most that your child is at risk for is some mild nausea, so you may want to limit their food intake before the appointment. We will also talk to you about your child’s pre-existing health conditions so we can be aware of any potential complications.

Will My Child Remember Anything After Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is designed to keep patients awake for the duration of the treatment so that they can follow the dentist’s instructions. However, it’s common for people to be in and out for the duration of the treatment, and to have limited memory of the procedure afterward. Of course, this is more common for stronger sedatives, like oral conscious sedation and IV sedation.

Is My Child a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

So long as your child doesn’t have medical conditions that could make sedatives a problem, sedation dentistry is usually just fine for just about anyone who is too nervous to make it to the dentist’s office. Moreover, sedatives can help to make care more efficient—they can help young children who have trouble sitting still to get through longer procedures, making the care that they get considerably faster than it would be otherwise.

Of course, we would need to talk more to you about your child’s medical history in order to clear them for the treatment, but if you think that there’s a way that it could be useful, it’s an option worth talking to us about.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

As you might expect, this depends on what kind of sedation you’re getting. Generally speaking, the milder sedatives cost less—nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation will be more affordable than IV sedation. Many sedatives are also charged by the hour, which means that longer procedures will entail a higher cost.

Typically, nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation will cost you a few hundred dollars, while IV sedation and general anesthesia will cost more.

What Does Dental Sedation Feel Like?

Regardless of what type of dental sedation your child receives, the medication will help them feel relaxed in the treatment chair. Nitrous oxide typically makes children feel light, tingly, and giggly, while oral conscious sedation will make it feel harder for them to stay awake. IV sedation generally has similar effects on children as oral conscious sedation, but it’s much stronger and often causes children to not remember much about their appointments.

Is Children’s Sedation Dentistry Worth It?

As a parent, our team understands that you’ll likely be weighing the pros and cons of sedation dentistry in Fort Worth, which is why we want you to know that we’re here if you have any questions. For children who experience extreme anxiety and discomfort, the stress of having to go through their appointment scared can weigh heavily on not only you, but also their minds at future visits. With sedation dentistry, they can have a more pleasant and positive experience, hopefully allowing them to feel more comfortable visiting the dentist in the future.

Will My Child Feel Pain with Dental Sedation?

Children’s sedation dentistry doesn’t numb the body to pain, but it does suppress the body’s ability to register it. Depending on the procedure, we may administer a local anesthetic to completely numb the area in addition to sedation.

Does Sedation Dentistry Put Children to Sleep?

While some children may feel drowsy and sleepy while they’re under sedation, there’s no guarantee that your child will go to sleep during their appointment. Typically, the stronger sedation methods, like oral conscious and IV sedation, will cause your child to forget most of their appointment or sleep through it. This can be a positive side-effect for those who are especially scared of visiting the dentist. Also, because it can affect their memory, your child may feel as though they fell asleep when they actually didn’t.