Dental Sedation

The professionals at Harbor Kids Dental never opt for dental sedation during treatment unless it is absolutely necessary. We make every attempt to perform dental care using the least invasive treatment options available. Only when medication is vital for the child’s comfort and safety do we suggest either nitrous oxide, oral sedation or general anesthesia.

Dental Sedation: Nitrous Oxide

This sedative is combined with oxygen and is inhaled through a face mask. Sometimes called “laughing gas,” this medication does not completely sedate patients. They are still able to respond to directions and move their arms and legs. The purpose of nitrous oxide is to provide an additional level of relaxation to the patient during potentially frightening procedures. As soon as the mask is removed, the effects of nitrous oxide quickly begin to wear off.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is stronger than nitrous oxide and is normally administered in pill, syrup, injection or IV form. The level of sedation can range from mild to deep, but does not induce complete unconsciousness. While orally sedated, the patient will feel intensely drowsy, but will not go to sleep. Though patients remain awake, when using conscious sedation it is possible that the child may not remember the details of the procedure. 

Dental Sedation: General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is used for extensive dental surgery that is necessary to the health and safety of the patient. Children who suffer from physical, medical or mental disabilities may especially benefit from this level of medication.

Your children’s safety is of the utmost important to our staff at Harbor Kids Dental in Aberdeen, and Olympia, Washington. We will make sure your child passes a pre-sedation physical the day of the procedure before any medication is administered. No sedation tactic is without a certain level of risk, and your child’s heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels will be constantly monitored during treatment.

You as the parent will be fully educated on how to handle the child post-sedation. He or she may feel sleepy or experience nausea or vomiting as a side effect of the medication. We will explain the importance of your child’s fluid intake and instruct you to contact us immediately if an unexpected problem arises.

Dental sedation is an acceptable, beneficial pediatric dentistry practice when conducted by professionals with experience and training in the field. We pride ourselves on our skill level and expertise in abiding by American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry standards in dental sedation here at Harbor Kids Dental in Aberdeen and Olympia.