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Dental Sedation for Children


Dr. McCarty and Dr. McDonald have had had extensive training and experience in sedation for the pediatric dental patient. Children who are apprehensive and those who require extensive dental treatment may be a candidate for sedation. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide (“happy gas”), oral conscious sedation and general anesthetics in the hospital setting. The sedation techniques used by

Dr. McCarty and Dr. McDonald follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Sedation is an excellent way to make your child comfortable during their dental visit and have a positive dental experience.


Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps apprehensive or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea. Dr. McCarty and Dr. McDonald will use this for most routine dental restorative procedures.


Oral Conscious Sedation

For children who are very apprehensive or if your child requires a lot of dental treatment, this method of sedation is effective. The patient is given oral medications in the office and after onset of the medications the child will become sleepy and drowsy. Dr. McCarty and Dr. McDonald will also use nitrous oxide and appropriate monitoring devices during the procedure. Patients are breathing on their own and they are arousable during the dental treatment. Most patients will sleep during their dental treatment.


Dr. McCarty has preformed oral conscious sedation on over 3500 pediatric patients so you can see he has much experience in this area.


General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia is a great solution for children who are fearful of the dentist, those undergoing extensive treatment, or those with a significant medical condition(s). This method of sedation is also administered to children who are getting their tonsils removed or tubes put in their ears. Dr. McCarty and Dr. McDonald are on staff at all of the local hospitals and usually does this treatment on Fridays.


A medical anesthesiologist and surgical team will be present to care for your child. The sedative will put your child to sleep; making it possible for them to feel no discomfort while the doctor performs the procedure.


Please ask us if sedation is right for your child.