What is Oral Sedation and how does it work?

Oral sedation is the process of the child drinking prescription anti-anxiety medication 1 hour prior to the procedure and nitrous gas (commonly referred to as laughing gas) during the procedure to help relax the child. To prevent the medication from upsetting the childs stomach, it is highly suggested that the child comes in on an empty stomach. The medications effectiveness varies from child to child, but majority of the time calming the child while he/she will still be awake and able to respond. When combined with nitrous gas, it has a much better effect of calming the child to a very relaxed state. Taking X-Rays and some procedures may still make the child uncomfortable, but to a much lesser extent compared to without Oral Sedation.

Are there any side-effects to Oral Sedation?

Although oral sedation is suggested, it is not required. However the majority of children are not comfortable in a dental office setting and may begin moving around during a procedure, which delays the treatment and causes more stress to the child. The amount of sedation is based on the childs weight to ensure they receive the appropriate dosage and monitored throughout the procedure as a safety precaution. The only side-effect is the child will be somewhat drowsy and less responsive which is why it is important to make sure the child does not do any strenuous activities such as sports, swimming, running, etc… and to ensure they keep their head up and touching their chest to keep the airways open.