Is Sedation Dentistry Safe For Children?

sedation dentistry for kids

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe For Children?

Sedation Dentistry Bergen County

Is your child terrified of going to the dentist? Does your child have a hard time sitting still during appointments? Do they have a low pain threshold? If the answer to any of these questions is yes and you are searching “sedation dentistry Bergen County” to determine if sedation dentistry is safe for children, Kinder Smiles is here to put you at ease.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is when the dentist uses medication to place the patient under a certain level of sedation in order to complete a procedure. The level or type of sedation patients receive depends on what kind of procedure they need. Most dentists are capable of administering sedation in the form of nitrous oxide, but only a small percentage have the training and certification to administer oral sedation. Dr. Darryl Engel is one of those pediatric dentists.

Types Of Sedation Dentistry

There are four types of sedation that dentists utilize to treat their patients. With the exception of general anesthesia, these sedation methods will not result in the patient falling into a deep sleep.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide causes patients to become giggly. They also feel floaty and experience a numbing feeling in parts of the body. To administer nitrous oxide, we place a mask over your child’s nose and ask them to breathe deeply. The gas will help them relax during the procedure. It’s the most common type of sedation because it’s easy to administer.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is when the dentist prescribes an oral medication to the patient to swallow that will cause them to become drowsy. Your child will need to avoid food and drink at least six hours prior to their appointment. This type of sedation is an option for procedures that can cause more pain. Your child could fall asleep under oral sedation, but a gentle shake will be enough to wake them if we need them to cooperate.

IV Sedation

For procedures such as tooth extraction and oral surgery, IV sedation is an appropriate method that allows the dentist to control the level of sedation. Your child will feel pressure and a prick as we insert the needle into a vein in the crook of their arm. Once again, it’s best to avoid food and drink prior to the procedure, and we will continually monitor your child’s breathing and vital signs.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is for patients who want to be totally asleep and unaware during the procedure. It’s the deepest form of sedation.

Who Can Have Sedation?

Most patients can have sedation, but it’s mostly for patients who have fear or anxiety about seeing the dentist. Sedation is also appropriate for patients who have a low pain threshold, can’t sit still, have sensitive teeth, have a bad gag reflex, or need a lot of dental work done.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe For Children?

sedation dentistry for kids

Nitrous oxide is the safest type of sedation, but every type is considered safe for children when administered by a professional. We will never sedate your child without your consent. Parents can also be in the room with their child to calm and encourage them. If you seek reassurance, ask your dentist how much training they have in using sedation methods, provide your child’s medical history, ask about dosage and FDA approval, and be sure the dentist goes over the risks of sedation. The risks of sedation are generally minor and include headaches, nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, and drowsiness.


Sedation dentistry is safe for children. Dr. Darryl Engel is a pediatric dentist at Kinder Smiles who holds certification in sedation. So, if you are looking for “sedation dentistry Bergen County,” Kinder Smiles is ready to treat your child. To learn more or to make an appointment, call our office at 551-210-4012 today!