Sedation Dentistry

When a child isn’t able to tolerate dental treatment or suffers from dental anxiety that can’t be overcome with laughing gas (nitrous oxide), conscious sedation dentistry may be a great alternative.

At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, our dentists use conscious sedation dentistry to help children receive the dental care they need.

How Does Conscious Sedation Dentistry Work?

Conscious sedation dentistry using primarily oral medications to help your child relax prior to receiving dental treatment.

With conscious sedation dentistry, your child should become very drowsy or even fall into a light sleep. They will still be able to interact with their dentist when spoken to, but relaxed enough to have reduced anxiety during their appointment.

What Our Patients Say

Chrissy HuberSuper friendly staff, extremely clean and sterile environment without being cold and harsh. my son is autistic and he even loved it! So happy to have found them!

— Chrissy H.

Call Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville at (434) 817-1817 or contact us online to learn more about how sedation dentistry can help your child.

Is Conscious Sedation Dentistry Right for Your Child?

Our dentists will always make recommendations based on your child’s specific needs. Our dentists may recommend conscious sedation dentistry for your child if:

  • He or she isn’t able to undergo dental procedures, exams, or treatments even with the aid of laughing gas
  • His or her dental anxiety is so severe that other methods of calming and relaxation fail
  • He or she has a medical condition that necessitates sedation during dental work
  • He or she is too young to wear a laughing gas mask or is too young to follow a dentist’s instructions

Remember, every child is different. Your child’s dentist will make a recommendation based on their experience and your child’s best interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does conscious sedation differ from general anesthesia?

When general anesthesia is required, a patient is fully “asleep.” When placed under conscious sedation, patients are very relaxed and drowsy, but still aware enough to interact with their dentist if needed.

Is conscious sedation dentistry safe?

Yes! Our dentists complete extensive training that prepares them to safely treat your child. Ask your dentist for more information about his or her education and qualifications.

Is sedation dentistry recommended for children affected by autism?

As always, our dentists will make his or her recommendation based on your child’s unique situation. Conscious sedation may help children affected by autism receive dental care with reduced anxiety, however often these patients need a deeper level of sedation than conscious sedation can provide to help meet their dental needs.

Will my child always need sedation dentistry?

Depending on your child’s medical and dental needs, sedation dentistry may be required for some or all of his or her treatments.

At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we strive to provide a relaxing, calming atmosphere to help children overcome their dental anxiety. Unless medically necessary, we generally recommend that by the age of 10 most children should be able to undergo dental exams and minor procedures without the use of sedation dentistry.

That said, if your child (no matter his or her age) needs sedation to help them tolerate the dental treatment they need, we can help.

Do you accept insurance or Medicaid?

Yes! We accept Medicaid and a variety of additional insurance plans, including those from:

  • Anthem
  • Metlife
  • Guardian
  • United Concordia
  • Delta Dental
  • Cigna

What do I need to do before and after my child’s appointment?

Your child’s dentist will provide a full list of pre-operative and post care-operative instructions, which include:

  • Discuss your child’s full medical history with the dentist prior to their sedation appointment
  • Bringing a list of any medications your child is taking (prescription and non-prescription)
  • Notify us of any acute change in your child’s health (such as developing a cold or flu)
  • Avoiding food and drink a few hours before and after your child’s appointment
  • Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to assist in the application of patient monitors
  • Watching for nausea, extreme drowsiness or other side effects after your child’s treatment

How long does conscious sedation last?

Your child will likely be drowsy for a few hours after their treatment. It is important that you do not leave them unassisted during this period. We will keep your child at the office for some time after their appointment to assure that your child is alert and responsive and able to demonstrate the ability to protect their own airway.

Call (434) 817-1817 to Schedule Your Appointment

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