Sedation Dentistry for Children | Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry | Middletown, NY (2023)

Sedation Dentistry for Children | Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry | Middletown, NY (1)

One of the main challenges that general dentists face is treating children when they need to remain still for long periods of time. Even if it is not for a type of surgery, children do not usually want to sit still for long. As a pediatric dentist, we offer sedation dentistry to help children remain still and calm during a dental procedure and appointment.

We take the necessary precaution and steps to ensure safety when using sedation dentistry. We will evaluate the patient’s current condition and medical history to make sure the sedation technique does not have a negative impact on their health before use. By working with the parents/guardians, we will take the time to go over the process and information they need to know.

If you are interested in learning more about sedation dentistry to see if it is right for your child, give us a call today and schedule an appointment.

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(Video) Does Your Child Need Sedation Dentistry?

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry for children involves introducing nitrous oxide or intravenous sedation to the child’s body to help them relax during the appointment. The type of sedation and level can result in the child remaining awake and calm to asleep during the procedure. Depending on the reason for the sedation and the child’s overall health, we will determine the proper amount and type of sedation.

We can provide various benefits to sedation dentistry including:

  • To help the child remain still and calm during treatment
  • Ease the stress a child may feel during an appointment
  • Allow us to treat a child who cannot remain still during treatment
  • Help the child feel more comfortable during the treatment

  • Types of Sedation

    Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas and is one option we may recommend for patients through a mask. Typically, this mask will introduce a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen into the child’s lungs. The patient will begin to relax within five minutes of breathing the gas. By introducing pure oxygen to the lungs after the procedure, we can quickly relieve the effects of the gas.

    IV Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia : For those children with severe dental phobia, special needs and/or require a significant amount of dental care, IV sedation may be recommended if treatment with nitrous oxide is ineffective. Our board-certified dental anesthesiologist will administer the sedation medications and closely monitor your child while Dr. Geri completes all necessary treatment and restore your child’s dental health. All treatment can be completed in our office rather than the hospital which allows for a comfortable experience for your child. Children who are undergoing treatment under deep sedation will have no recollection of the treatment completed

    While the type of sedation we recommend for the child will vary, we need the parents/guardians to help prepare the child for the appointment.

    There are various levels and types of sedation. During your consultation Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman, will discuss the recommended procedure with you, along with any anxieties your child may have. At that time, a recommendation will be made for the type of sedation you may want to consider. The ultimate decision is based on how you believe your child will handle the procedure. In many cases, our NY patients simply need to relax and prefer to use laughing gas in order to do so. It is quick, effective, wears off when the procedure is finished. Laughing gas does not impair any other bodily functions following the procedure as well. Some patients may even use laughing gas to relax when getting their teeth cleaned since there is no actual pain associated with the treatment.

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    Regardless of the dental work, patients throughout the area may prefer to use a combination of laughing gas and localized pain medication. We can inject pain medication to numb the area that we are currently working on. As a sedation dentist, this is an effective tool for us to prevent and eliminate discomfort. We can administer as much medication as is necessary throughout the course of the treatment, and only that specific area will remain numb. The benefit of this type of sedation is how localized it is. For example, if a cavity is being treated on one side of the mouth, the other side will remain fully functional. This way, your child can eat immediately after the treatment while the numbing effect wears off the other side.

    If a more intensive procedure is required, patients may prefer IV medication for a more thorough effect. Yet, when sedation is administered through an IV, the numbing effect is more pervasive and not confined to that one specific area of the mouth. Many of our patients request this type of medication because they want to ensure that they do not feel anything while having dental work performed. While the effects can still wear off fairly quickly after the treatment is complete, we recommend closely monitoring your child after the procedure.

    For those needing oral surgery in NY, total sedation may be necessary or preferable. This is often referred to as sleep dentistry because a patient is put to sleep and will not remember anything from the procedure. As a sedation dentist, we find that this is an excellent solution when a patient is getting a full smile makeover. When the majority of teeth are being worked on, the procedure can take a significant amount of time. Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman, needs time to work with precision and not rush through the procedure. With that in mind, many of our Middletown patients find it difficult to hold still when the treatment lasts longer than an hour or two. Having the patient go to sleep is a much better option since the patient will remain still, feel comfortable and not remember what took place during the treatment. If this is your preferred method of sedation dentistry, we will monitor your child carefully during and after the treatment to ensure the anesthesia wears off properly. You will also need to keep an eye on your child at home. These procedures typically call for rest and relaxation anyway, so have your child take it easy at home before resuming any normal activities the next day.

    If your child needs to have dental work completed, a sedation dentist can be the best option. At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we offer sedation dentistry for patients living in and around the Middletown area. We understand that even for adults, visiting the dentist can be an overwhelming or frightening experience due to dental anxiety. This common condition forms from a negative experience or becoming fearful of the general dentistry at a young age. While common, your child does not have to be concerned about visiting our dentist office. We can ensure your child's comfort the entire time.

    When you schedule an appointment with Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman, let us know if your child has dental anxiety so that we can prepare for your visit accordingly. For many people, the actual procedure is not uncomfortable, rather the anxiety and worry that causes angst. While this is not a pain killer, it eases the fear and relaxes the body so that your child can remain peaceful while having dental work performed. While the dosage is different, laughing gas can be used on both children and adults so that all of our Middletown patients can remain comfortable.

    Sedation Dentistry for Children in Middletown, NY

    In contrast to general anesthesia (which renders the child unconscious), dental sedation is only intended to reduce the child’s anxiety and discomfort during dental visits. In some cases, the child may become drowsy or less active while sedated, but this will quickly desist after the procedure is completed.

    When is sedation used?

    Sedation is used in several circumstances. Firstly, very young children are often unable to keep still long enough for the pediatric dentist to perform high-precision procedures safely. Sedation makes the visit less stressful for both children and adults and vastly reduces the risk of injury. Secondly, some children struggle to manage anxiety during dental appointments. Sedation helps them to relax, cope, and feel happier about treatment. Thirdly, sedation is particularly useful for children with special needs. It prevents spontaneous movement, and guides cooperative behavior.

    Check out what others are saying about our Sedation Dentistry services on Yelp: Sedation Dentistry Middletown


    We understand that people may have a large variety of questions about sedation dentistry for a child and are here to answer them. Below are a few common questions we hear and our answers to them.

    How Long will the Effects of the Sedation Last?

    The amount of time the effects of the sedation last will vary per the type of sedation. While the child will wake up fairly quickly, there is a chance they will feel dizzy, nauseous, sleepy or have slight temporary difficulty with movement. We will review all of the necessary steps and what to watch out for before the appointment.

    How can I Prepare my Child for This Appointment?

    To prepare the child for sedation dentistry, we will need the parents/guardians to limit the food and drink a child has before the sedation. Talking to the child about the sedation can help to ease any stress the child might have. If nitrous oxide is the recommended method for the sedation, preparing the child about wearing the mask can help make the situation easier.

    Making sure the child wears comfortable loose clothing will help make it easier to attach monitors without trouble and help the child relax. Bringing a comfort item, favorite toy or blanket can also help to relax the child.

    What Should I Consider when Choosing a Type of Sedation for My Child?

    We will need to review a child’s full medical history before administering any type of dental sedation. We need to know if the child has any prescription medications or health issues that will not work with the sedation methods. Even if it is an over-the-counter medication or vitamin supplement, we need to know about it.

    Can my Child Return to School After the Appointment?

    In most cases, no. The effects of sedation will take a few hours to completely leave the system. The child needs to return home, rest and take it easy until then. Even returning to daycare is not recommended.

    What can my Child eat after Sedation?

    The first few hours after a procedure, the child should only consume soft foods. If the child is vomiting or experiencing other stomach issues after the sedation, then the parent/guardian needs to contact us immediately.

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    Getting Started

    If you live in the local area and are interested in visiting a sedation dentist for your child, call (845) 363-4177 to schedule your appointment. At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we will take the time to get to know your child and understand all of your concerns first. Once we have a clear understanding of the situation, we will then make a formal recommendation as to the type of sedation dentistry that you should consider. We will also need to know if your child has any other health issues, risks or allergies. Typically, if your child has responded well to pain medication or sedation in other medical treatments, he or she will do well with sedation dentistry. Still, if you have questions or concerns be sure to discuss them with Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman. With any type of dental work, it is important to be well informed and make a decision that you feel is best for your child's health. As such, we want you to be an informed and educated patient.Thanks to modern technology, if your child is afraid of having dental work done or visiting the dentist in general, your child no longer has to be. As a sedation dentist, we can ensure that your child's experience is a positive one. Call 845-363-4177 for more information or to get started.

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    About our business, license, and website security

    • Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry was established in 2016.
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    • We serve patients from the following counties: Orange County and Sullivan County
    • We serve patients from the following cities: Middletown and Chester
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    Can a child be sedated for dental work? ›

    Young children with dental pain and/or infection require treatment at any age—sometimes that means your child will need to go under general anesthesia or sedation.

    What kind of sedation is used in pediatric dentistry? ›

    Often called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a very safe, mild sedative that will help your child remain relaxed during dental procedures. Your child's dentist will give the sedation with the use of a “space mask,” which carries air (oxygen) mixed with the medication.

    Should kids be sedated for dental work New York Times? ›

    (The substance may darken decayed areas, but baby teeth fall out.) “It's not appropriate for sedation to be a first-line treatment” for all cavities, Dr. Horst said. Less risky and less invasive options, such as placing a temporary filling to buy time until a child will sit for a proper one, should be discussed.

    Can I ask my dentist for sedation? ›

    You Suffer From Dental Anxiety or a Fear of the Dentist

    If you suffer from any type of dental anxiety or fear of the dentist, sedation dentistry can help you relax and get the treatments you need without causing excess stress.

    What is the safest form of sedation for children? ›

    Nitrous oxide.

    Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a very safe sedative that allows mildly anxious children to relax while remaining awake and able to communicate with the dentist. Laughing gas is one of the safest options in pediatric sedation dentistry.

    How long does a pediatric sedation last? ›

    While your child's study or procedure is underway, you may stay in the Sedation Unit or leave the unit to use the restroom, visit the cafeteria or check in with a clinic. Most procedures last approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Your nurse will be able to provide a time frame for you.

    What is the safest dental sedation? ›

    In general, nitrous oxide is considered the least invasive and the safest for most patients. Oral sedation consists of anti-anxiety medication and, for many patients, is perfectly safe. IV or sleep sedation involves being semi-conscious and therefore comes with the most possible risk.

    How do they sedate kids for dental work? ›

    Nitrous Oxide – Nitrous oxide sedation is mild, safe, doesn't put patients to sleep and wears off quickly. We deliver a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen to your child through a mask. They breathe it in for a few minutes and will feel relaxed, calm, euphoric and a little bit silly.

    How do they put kids to sleep for dental procedures? ›

    The medicine that is directed into the mask —nitrous oxide — will help your child relax and will make your child sleep. Once your child is asleep, intravenous (IV) sedation will be started so that medication can be given to keep him or her sleeping throughout the procedure.

    Should a 4 year old be sedated for dental work? ›

    Many parents have the same concerns. But sedation dentistry is perfectly safe for children in most cases.

    Do they put kids to sleep to fill cavities? ›

    Sedation is commonly used for dental procedures in kids—even for fillings.

    Is IV sedation safe for 5 year old? ›

    IV sedation is simple and safe for both children and adults. It involves receiving sedative medication intravenously. At any time, your medication can be adjusted to your level of comfort and need.

    What age is dental sedation? ›

    This treatment is usually made available to children from the age of four or five. Your child will be conscious (awake) throughout the procedure, and will be able to talk to you and the dentist. This should help with any worries they may have, and allow them to cope more easily with the treatment.

    Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry? ›

    Signs You Are a Good Candidate

    You have a long and traumatic procedure scheduled. You experience extreme pain and sensitivity during dental procedures. You have a strong gag or swallowing reflex. Medical conditions are worsened by stress.

    What are the risks of sedation dentistry? ›

    These side effects may include drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and fogginess or loss of memory of the dental procedure. These minor side effects usually resolve within a few hours, and, for most people, the benefits of oral sedation dentistry far outweighs these side effects.

    How long does it take a child to wake up from sedation? ›

    The child will be monitored until the medication wears off and he or she is awake and able to drink fluids. This usually takes one to three hours.

    How long should a child sleep after sedation? ›

    The effects of some sedation medicine can last up to 24 hours. Your child may be drowsy or irritable for 2 to 8 hours after receiving the medicine.

    Which is safer laughing gas or oral sedation? ›

    Laughing gas is a type of sedative administered via inhalation that helps relax patients by relieving anxiety in short-term situations. It is often used in dentistry because it has fewer side effects than oral sedatives, making it a safer option for young children and patients with underlying medical conditions.

    What are the risks of pediatric sedation? ›

    Serious side effects and allergic reactions resulting from anesthesia are rare. After sedation or general anesthesia, some patients may have nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, sore throat, blood pressure changes or pain. These side effects are usually mild, brief and treatable.

    How do I prepare my child for sedation? ›

    Preparing for pediatric sedation
    1. Food (solids): Your child should eat no solid foods, including applesauce, pudding, gum or candy, after 11 p.m. the evening before the procedure. ...
    2. Liquids: Your child can drink clear liquids, including water, apple juice or ginger ale, until two (2) hours before your arrival time.

    What happens when a child is sedated? ›

    Sedation will make your child feel sleepy and calm; it can help children to cope with any potentially frightening or uncomfortable procedures. Sedation may also be used if they are to have an MRI or CT scan. Your child will need to lie very still for up to 30 -40 mins, and this is often not possible without sedation.

    What is better laughing gas or IV sedation? ›

    Unlike laughing gas, which can be used even for minor procedures, IV sedation is most often recommended for complex and lengthy oral surgeries. The sedatives are administered constantly throughout the procedure through an IV placed in your arm.

    Can you still feel pain with oral sedation? ›

    You won't feel pain under oral conscious sedation, although that doesn't mean you won't feel anything at all. However, any minor discomfort you might feel will be easy to forget thanks to the relaxing effect of the sedation.

    Is IV sedation safer than oral sedation? ›

    These are significant differences between oral and IV sedation. While oral is an acceptable way to provide relaxation to the patient, IV sedation is more efficient, does not last as long, and is ultimately more safer than other forms of sedation.

    Is dental sedation worth? ›

    Sedation dentistry eases anxieties and phobias, helping you remain calm and comfortable during dental procedures. Because your dentist can often work faster when you're under sedation, it can result in fewer appointments. Finally, many people have so much dental anxiety that they avoid going to the dentist altogether.

    How long does it take for a 4 year old to wake up from anesthesia? ›

    Once the surgery is over, it will take about 15 to 20 minutes for your child to wake up. His or her behaviour will be very different for the next 4 to 6 hours.

    What to expect after pediatric dental sedation? ›

    Oral Sedation After Care Instructions

    Normal activities can resume the following day. If they want to nap, keep their head and chest slightly elevated. If they sleep they may be nauseate upon waking. If they are hungry, start with clear broth or soup, apple juice, crackers, jell-O, or applesauce.

    Do kids get laughing gas for fillings? ›

    Laughing gas can be used for a range of procedures, from cleaning teeth to filling cavities. However, keep in mind that certain procedures may also require local anesthesia to manage pain. Your child's sedation dentist will be able to manage pain and anxiety so your child can maintain good oral health.

    How do they fill a 5 year olds cavity? ›

    If your child has a small cavity, your child's dentist will be able to repair the tooth with a dental filling. First, the dentist will drill and remove the decayed matter in the tooth. Next, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin to fill the hole left in the tooth.

    Who should not get IV sedation? ›

    If you are overweight with a high BMI (>35) or have high blood pressure with a diastolic pressure over 100, you may not be a good candidate for IV sedation. Other contraindications are having a known allergy to benzodiazepines, being pregnant or nursing, alcohol intoxication and some instances of glaucoma.

    Is Twilight sedation safe for kids? ›

    IV Sedation

    This is a fast-acting “twilight” sedation that helps greatly with anxiety and discomfort. While your child will be awake and responsive during the procedure, they will not remember their dental appointment. This makes IV sedation an excellent option for extremely apprehensive and nervous children.

    Do all dentists offer sedation? ›

    Nearly all dentists will offer nitrous oxide or sedation pills. However, if they want to provide their patients with IV or deep sedation, dentists must complete a certification and specialized program. The type of dental sedatives used during your treatment will depend on a few different factors: The procedure.

    Who can benefit from sedation dentistry? ›

    Patients who have a fear of needles are a candidate for sedation dentistry. Oral sedation options are available to ease anxiety and fears over needles/IV sedation. Sedation dentistry can allow patients with complex dental needs to receive multiple treatments during one visit, saving time and money.

    Is sedation dentistry the same as anesthesia? ›

    Despite these similarities, sedation and anesthesia are not the same. Under sedation, you will feel relaxed and may fall into a light sleep, as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes. Often, your dentist refers to this as conscious sedation because you are awake, though in a state of depressed alertness.

    Can a dental nurse do sedation? ›

    The GDC Scope of practice states that in addition to the standard scope of practice, a dental nurse with additional skills may assist in the treatment of patients who are under conscious sedation.

    What are the downsides of sedation? ›

    The most common side effects associated with intravenous sedation are headaches, dizziness and nausea.

    Is sedation safer than anesthesia? ›

    IV sedation does cause partial memory loss, and patients will not remember any of their procedure. Recovery is fast and patients will be back to their routine quickly. IV sedation is a safer option compared to general anesthesia.

    What is the most common complication of sedation? ›

    When compared with local anesthesia alone, the two most significant negative variables introduced by moderate sedation, as well as deep sedation and general anesthesia, are the added risks for either respiratory depression, ie, hypoventilation, or airway obstruction in the deeply sedated or unconscious patient.

    At what age can a child be put under anesthesia? ›

    Due to the uncertainty about the effects of exposure to anesthesia in childhood, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that elective (not mandatory for health) surgery and anesthesia be delayed until after 3 years of age when possible.

    Is IV sedation safe for children? ›

    IV sedation is simple and safe for both children and adults. It involves receiving sedative medication intravenously. At any time, your medication can be adjusted to your level of comfort and need.

    How do they put kids to sleep for dental procedure? ›

    The medicine that is directed into the mask —nitrous oxide — will help your child relax and will make your child sleep. Once your child is asleep, intravenous (IV) sedation will be started so that medication can be given to keep him or her sleeping throughout the procedure.

    What is the risk of putting a child under anesthesia? ›

    Anesthesia risks in children

    The most common side effects are relatively mild, such as nausea and grogginess. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that “repeated or lengthy use” of general anesthetic or sedation drugs in children under 3 may affect brain development.

    Is dental sedation safe for toddlers? ›

    Studies indicate that complications are more likely to happen in children below the age of six, so try to limit sedation dentistry to when it's absolutely necessary. Conscious sedation is sometimes necessary to get your child through a procedure as quickly, easily, and with as little stress as possible.


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