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Is Sedation Safe for Children at The Dentist?

At Children’s Choice in California, we’re committed to demystifying dental health for our patients and their families.  

Whether it’s a cavity or anxiety about seeing the dentist, sedating your child at the dentist is a safe option for your child.  

We want to help you understand when sedation at the dentist may be necessary, what kinds of sedation we use, and why sedation is safe for your children. 

Child-Safe Dental Sedation Methods 

Children’s Choice offers various sedation care solutions to help children with anxiety and special needs feel comfortable while receiving the dental care they need.  

We offer 2 types of sedation methods for your peace of mind: nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) or general anesthesia.  

What is Laughing Gas for Kids?

Laughing gas — formally known as nitrous oxide — is a mild sedative method used in dental procedures to help safely and effectively manage anxiety.  

For young children who experience mild anxiety at the dentist or children with special needs, laughing gas may be a solution for your family during your next dental visit.  

Laughing gas for kids is common and helps to reduce nerves, gagging, and stress, so your child can feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their dental visit or procedure. 

What Age is Safe for Laughing Gas? 

Laughing gas is safe for everyone of all ages, including toddlers.  

At Children’s Choice, your child’s dentist will recommend laughing gas if they believe it is essential to your child’s dental care. We’ll advise you about best practices before and after the procedure to ensure your child’s overall comfort and safety.  

Laughing gas is inhaled by your child prior to and during the procedure to help reduce anxiety. Your child will remain conscious or they may fall asleep to ensure a successful dental visit.  

With care under nitrous, you child cannot eat or drink anything except for water and other clear liquids for a few hours before their procedure.  

If you have questions or concerns about laughing gas for your child, please contact us > 

Dental IV Sedation for Children 

For young patients with more complex care needs like extreme anxiety or conditions that make receiving care challenging, we offer IV Sedation or general anesthesia in select Choice dental clinics.  

Anesthesia is the most comfortable option for children who may have a fear of the dentist or behavioral challenges.  

If your child has a disability or needs extensive treatment such as fillings and crowns, IV sedation can help relieve stress for your child by ensuring they’re unconscious and asleep throughout the procedure. 

The most important thing to remember is that your child cannot eat or drink anything for 8-12 hours before their procedure and appointment. 

You can sit with your child to help keep them calm as they’re sedated and have peace of mind that they won’t be uncomfortable during care. 

IV Sedation is only administered by a licensed medical anesthesiologist at Children’s Choice care clinics.  

Our anesthesiologists have received specialized training and hold certifications from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), so you can rest assured that your child’s dental care is in safe and trained hands. 

What is the Risk of Dental Sedation for Children? 

We understand your concerns as a parent when it comes to sedation and your child. 

The safety of your child is our top priority at Children’s Choice. Dental sedation at Choice locations is performed by experienced medical and dental anesthesiologists while your Choice dentist provides dental care. 

Before your child undergoes any type of sedation, our dentists will perform a thorough review of their medical history and current medications. It’s important for you to tell us about any allergies or medications your child has or is taking because this affects sedation.  

During sedation procedures, trained staff will monitor your child to make sure that the procedure goes safely and to expectation.  

Children’s Choice follows the new AAP and AAPD guidelines, which states “Any child receiving deep sedation or general anesthesia an anesthesia professional or another dentist/oral surgeon who is trained in anesthesia must be present to help care for your child.”   

Is Sedation at the Dentist Covered by Insurance? 

The cost of the type of sedation used varies depending on your insurance coverage, including Medicaid or Medi-Cal Dental (Denti-Cal). 

Most insurance plans require pre-authorization for any treatment done under IV or general anesthesia. For Medi-Cal Dental (Denti-Cal) families, if approved, sedation care is covered at no cost to you. 

Our anesthesia care team will work with your family on any forms required to authorize sedation care for your child in our Choice locations. 

We will discuss coverage options with you prior to your child’s procedure. We work with you to help you find the best solution for you and your family. 

We also offer special programs including one complimentary laughing gas treatment for any procedure. Children’s Choice is your reliable source for positive, safe, and affordable dental care in California. 

Your Child is Safe with Us 

We understand your concerns about your child’s dental care and comfort. When you visit us, your child’s care is our team’s main focus.  

At Children’s Choice, we care about your concerns as a parent. Our care is supported by anesthesiologists who are as committed to your child’s comfort and safety as we are.  

Children’s Choice is trained to deliver comprehensive care to patients with behavioral challenges and special needs in a setting dedicated to children’s care needs.  

If you’re in need of pediatric dental sedation care, visit us at Children’s Choice. Learn more about our services here, or contact us with questions if you think sedation might be necessary for your child’s next trip to the dentist.  

For more information about our specialty care services, contact our Anesthesia team at  anesthesia@mychildrenschoice.com.