Pediatric Smiles Client

“Smart Step” Sedation

A careful, conservative approach to pediatric dental sedation

For children, a visit to the dentist can potentially go a number of different ways. If not handled carefully, a hopefully positive experience can quickly change to fear, crying, screaming and resistance to treatment that can take years to overcome. 

Alternatively, in the hands of experienced pediatric specialists, your child can come away smiling inside and out, and actually looking forward to the next visit.

To Sedate or Not Sedate?

A major concern for many parents in their child’s dental care is the amount of sedation that will be required. Unfortunately, many dentists who are not specifically trained in pediatric dentistry recommend aggressive sedation procedures that are often unnecessary.

Our Rule of Thumb: The less sedation, the better. 

When we say “conservative approach”, we mean utilizing the least amount of sedation, and the least invasive treatments possible to still get the best dental outcomes for your child. 

Less than 10% of our pediatric patients require any sedation at all.

For children who would benefit from sedation, we start with the most gentle options possible, and only move to the next step when necessary for the well-being of your child – always in consultation with you as the parent or guardian for final say.

Pediatric Smiles Client
Pediatric Smiles Client

“Smart Step” Sedation

With “Smart Step” sedation, we start with the most conservative sedation option, and “step up” to the next level only when necessary, based on your child’s unique needs. This can include the specific dental challenges, age, medical history, temperament or special needs of your child, among other factors.

Pediatric Smiles Sedation Guide

Step 1: Nitrous Oxide “laughing gas”

This is almost always the starting point.  You child will breath this safe gas for a few minutes to relax them so they don’t notice the numbing or “sleepy juice” injection. This treatment is so gentle, most children don’t even notice it, and leave feeling happy and relaxed.

Step 2: Oral Sedation

The next step up is an oral medication that your child will be given to drink to make them sleepy. All of our medications are FDA approved for use with children and provide an extremely safe option for your child.  Only about 3% of children will require this method.

Step 3: IV Sedation/General Anesthesia

The last option is intravenous sedation. This is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist, usually in a hospital setting. This is the method we will recommend only when all previous steps have been eliminated.

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Pediatric Smiles

Doctor and staff are personable and welcoming. For my kids, pediatric smiles made dentist trips easy. They no longer fear the dentist. Plus, the cost is equal to our family dentist.

Julie DeForest

Have you been told sedation is necessary for your child? We’d be happy to give you a FREE second opinion.

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