Nitrous Oxide & Other Pediatric Dental Sedation

At Novato Children's Dentistry, we understand that some children may feel anxious about visiting the dentist or undergoing dental procedures.

Whether it's for routine cleanings or more complex procedures, our goal is to ensure every child feels relaxed and stress-free during their dental visit.

Our sedation dentistry options are designed to provide a safe, stress-free, and comfortable experience, ensuring your child receives the best possible care without fear or discomfort.

Our Sedation Dentistry Options

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas):

Patients, big and small, can be slightly nervous for dental treatment, despite previous positive experiences at routine dental check-ups or even a positive treatment appointment. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” or what Dr. Espinosa and Dr. DeSimini like to call “happy air”, is a great option to help them relax and feel comfortable. It is the most mild form of sedation in which the child is conscious and able to interact during the treatment. The patient will breathe the nitrous oxide/oxygen combination through a nose mask throughout the dental treatment appointment. The nitrous oxide effects of relaxing mental anxiety, relaxing muscle tension, and increasing threshold for discomfort comes on quickly with the full cooperation of the patient.

A stuffy nose, mouth breathers, and active crying will interfere with the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide and will not be recommended at that time. Just as quickly as the onset of nitrous oxide takes effect, it is quickly eliminated from the body through normal breathing of 100% oxygen. This allows the patient to return to school or other daily activities after their visit. Nitrous oxide is non addictive, will not put your child to sleep, and has analgesic properties making injections less painful. Not only is it recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as safe and effective, it is widely used in the pediatric dental community to aid in positive experiences during dental procedures for children. In addition, our team may recommend Nitrous oxide for routine dental check-ups and x-rays for patients no matter what age that experience severe gag reflex. 

Oral Sedation: 

Oral conscious sedation is a process in which Dr. Espinosa or Dr. DeSimini will administer one or a mixture of several drugs orally and in the office to sedate a child for dental treatment. This type of sedation is usually used on apprehensive patients, younger children, or special needs patients who are not able to cooperate with nitrous oxide alone. This form of sedation can make the child drowsy and they may even fall asleep during treatment, but they are not unconscious. Unlike nitrous oxide, the patient will need a relaxing day at home with an adult after their sedation for full recovery.

IV Sedation & General Anesthesia: 

I.V. Sedation is recommended for pre-cooperative children with SECC, Severe Early Childhood Caries, highly anxious or uncooperative patients, and patients with mental or physical disabilities. This process involves a Dental Anesthesiologist who will sedate the child into a deep sleep and monitor the patient while Dr. Espinosa or Dr. DeSimini will complete all necessary treatment in one visit. The great thing about this option is the patient will not remember any part of the procedures and our team can continue to work with that patient on happy check-up visits to encourage a positive dental experience thereafter.

Why Do We Use Sedation In Pediatric Dentistry?

  1. To Ease Anxiety: Sedation dentistry is ideal for children who feel nervous or anxious about dental visits, helping them to have a more positive experience.
  2. Pain Management: It provides an effective solution for managing pain and discomfort during dental procedures.
  3. Efficiency: Sedation can allow for multiple treatments to be completed in one visit, reducing the need for multiple appointments.

Safety and Comfort First

Our team at Novato Children's Dentistry is highly trained and experienced in administering pediatric sedation. We prioritize your child's safety above all else, adhering to strict guidelines and monitoring your child closely throughout their treatment. Before recommending sedation, we conduct a thorough review of your child's health history and discuss all options with you to ensure that you are fully informed and comfortable with the care plan.

Preparing Your Child for Sedation

We provide detailed instructions on how to prepare for a visit involving sedation, including guidelines on eating and drinking beforehand, what to expect during the visit, and how to care for your child after the procedure.

Schedule a Consultation

If you think your child could benefit from sedation dentistry, or if you have any questions about our sedation options, please contact Novato Children's Dentistry. Our friendly staff is here to provide you with all the information you need and to help you schedule a consultation. Together, we can ensure your child receives the dental care they need in the most comfortable and stress-free manner possible.