When it comes to pediatric dental procedures, some children get anxiety even thinking about going to the dentist. Sedation dentistry for kids is a great option for easing the fear of dental work.

If you think that sedation might be the right option for your child, keep reading to learn all the “whats” there is to know.


About Sedation Dentistry for Kids

What is sedation dentistry?

  • Performed at the dentist’s office
  • The use of a mild calming drug (sedative) to manage someone by making them very calm during dental work, but not sound asleep
  • Does not control pain or discomfort (A pain medicine is also injected into the treatment area.)

When is sedation dentistry for kids recommended?

  • Special needs children
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Strong gag reflexes
  • Long procedure or multiple procedures
  • Extreme anxiety and fear regarding the dentist
  • Safety of the child is at risk

What types of sedation dentistry are available for children?

Depending on the patient’s medical history, combined with the dental treatment being performed, there are two levels of sedation given to young patients.

Deep sedation such as anesthesia is only performed on extreme procedures or medical emergencies. Children nor adults will be put under deep sedation for common dental work.

  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Oral conscious sedation
  • Mild sedation by breathing in through the nose with a mask carrying a mixture of the sedative and oxygen
  • Begins to work within 5 minutes
  • Keeps someone relaxed and happy, but still awake
  • A slight sweet smell may be detected
  • Only a very light meal before this procedure (toast, cereal, fruit, bagel)


  • Oral sedation
  • Moderate sedation ingested by mouth or nose
  • Begins to work within 20 minutes
  • Little drowsiness to keep someone relaxed and calm
  • No foods or liquids can be consumed after midnight the night before


  • Intravenous (IV) sedation
  • Moderate to deep sedation
  • Requires a needle to be inserted into someone’s vein
  • Usually given during long procedures
  • Home preparation varies

Effects of sedation can last up to 6 hours after a procedure is done. This depends on the level of sedation used and each individual person.

Pediatric Dentistry for Kids

Everyone has different comfort levels. We recommend your child brings along something comfortable to them. You can also help them with any anxiety and fear during sedation.

  • Comfort item such as a favorite blanket, book, toy, or stuffed animal to hold during the sedation and procedure
  • Staying with your child to hold their hand, touch their arm, caress their face or hair, talk, sing, or whisper to your little one

Learn more about pediatric sedation dentistry

Sedation Dentistry Near Me

Are you looking for a top-notch pediatric dentist who has experience with sedation dentistry for kids (or scared teenagers)?

Nia Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics serves the entire Atlanta area. Any child or teen will feel right at home in our colorful office full of activities. Learn about the variety of premium dental care our expert team provides for children’s oral health.

Make an appointment now to discuss the best dental sedation options for your kid(s). You can contact us anytime.