Children's Sedation Dentistry

Dental fears are common, especially in young children. Additionally, some children with special healthcare needs may be prone to anxiety or have sensory disorders that cause regular dental care to be a very challenging experience for them. For these patients, sedation dentistry can be the key to helping them get the care they need for strong, healthy teeth.

Our doctors are all trained and licensed to provide sedation dentistry to children. Our office is designed to cater to kids and their unique needs, and we have everything we need to provide a safe and comfortable experience for your child. Whether a little nitrous oxide is needed to make an extraction more comfortable, your child has fears that require sedation using oral medication, or your child’s needs or care require general anesthesia, the Children's Center for Dentistry can help.

Nitrous Oxide

Many of our patients (and their parents) know nitrous oxide by its other name – laughing gas! Despite the name, this odorless, colorless gas will not make you laugh hysterically. It will, however, provide a deep feeling of relaxation and sometimes a touch of euphoria.

Nitrous oxide is useful when a lower level of anesthesia is needed such as for mild anxiety during a cleaning or for a procedure that may be scary for a child, such as a tooth extraction.

We like nitrous because it’s easy to control the dosage of the gas and increase or decrease the dosage as necessary for each individual patient. Parents like nitrous because the effects wear off quickly, making it easy for kids to return to school or regular activities following their appointment.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is helpful for children who need a slightly deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide can provide. This is effective for kids who have moderate anxiety or sensory processing disorders since this type of sedation will help dull sensations and actually cause them to not remember much, if any of the appointment.  Oral sedation is also helpful for more complex procedures and restorative dental care. 

During oral sedation, your child will still be awake, but in a groggy, relaxed state. 

In-Office IV Sedation

IV sedation is a way to predictably provide a deep level of sedation for our patients with more severe forms of anxiety or have extensive dental needs.  Some people refer to this as "twilight sleep". 

As with every procedure offered at the Children's Center for Dentistry, safety is always our number one concern. Our doctors employ the help of a board certified anesthesiologist to provide this deep level of sedation to predictably deliver the highest quality dental care in the most pleasant environment imaginable.

General Anesthesia

Just like if your child needed ear tubes or a tonsilectomy, there are some situations when it is appropriate to provide dental care in a hospital setting under general anesthesia.  If your child has a developmental disability or another health condition that makes it difficult for him or her to remain still for dental care, general anesthesia may be the right choice. General anesthesia may also be used if extensive dental care is required to be performed on children with extreme phobias or history of combative behavior.

Dental care using anesthesia is not performed in our Normal dental office but at one of our local hospitals or surgery centers. Our doctors are on staff at Carle BroMenn and The Center for Outpatient Medicine (TCOM).  If our doctors believe that general anesthesia is an appropriate sedation option for your child, he will further discuss this option with you. Our goal is to make sure that every child has access to necessary dental care to ensure proper growth and development through childhood.

Call the Children's Center for Dentistry at 309-827-KIDS(5437)  today to learn more about sedation dentistry for children or to schedule an appointment for your child.