We will always choose the most conservative treatment options available to your child and seek to use non-invasive procedures whenever possible. However, there are times when your child may need to be sedated for treatment to be completed safely. Ultimately, the child’s comfort and safety are our utmost concern.
Oral conscious sedation (OCS) is a safe, effective, and non-invasive method to help increase cooperation associated with dental treatment. Various medications can be used to sedate a child and are selected based on your child’s age, overall health, level of anxiety, and dental treatment recommendations.
Once the medications have been administered orally, it may take up to an hour before your child shows signs of sedation and is ready for dental treatment. In addition to the oral medication, nitrous oxide gas will be used in conjunction to help achieve an ideal level of sedation. Most children become relaxed and drowsy and may drift into a light sleep from which they can be aroused easily. Unlike general anesthesia, sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive.
“Laughing gas” is the common term for nitrous oxide, a safe and mild sedation method used during dental procedures. Your child will be awake and responsive throughout the procedure, but in a more relaxed and euphoric state. Because the gas is short-lived, customizable, and reversible, it is often used for children to help with gag reflexes and allow for a more pleasant dental experience.