Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry allows children to safely and comfortably sit through their necessary dental care. Whether your child has special needs or a case of the wiggles, safe sedation options allow Dr. Joyce to complete their treatment in an efficient manner while minimizing the length and number of appointments required. 

Types of Dental Sedation Available

Depending on the type of care your child requires, we offer two types of pediatric dental sedation in Belmont:

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Frequently referred by our team members as the comfort air, nitrous oxide is always administered along with oxygen and is a mild and yet effective sedative. This sedation is well tolerated, reversible, and non-allergenic. In fact, nitrous oxide is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry.

Nitrous oxide helps our little patients relax during their visit, so they can receive dental treatment in a comfortable and safe manner. Additionally, nitrous oxide decreases one’s sensation to pain and reduces the gag reflex which can interfere with effective dental treatment. During the sedation, your child remains fully conscious and may have a happy feeling.When the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for about 5 minutes to clear out any remaining gas.

Please limit your child to a very light meal 2 hours before any treatment with nitrous oxide, avoiding dairy and greasy food in particular.

Children are, of course, not all alike. Please inform our office regarding any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. We will review your child’s overall health, level of anxiety, and treatment needs and inform you if nitrous oxide is recommended for your child.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral sedation may be used for children who are anxious and may need a little more help beyond nitrous oxide. Your dentist will have your child take the medicine once you arrive at the appointment. The sedatives are taken by mouth to make your child a little drowsy in about half an hour and will keep him or her relaxed during the procedure. If your child is having sedation, he or she should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment.  Your child will still have the sedatives in their system after their dental procedure is completed.

IV sedation/General Anesthesia

Dental treatment under Intravenous Sedation (IV) is recommended for very young children, extremely apprehensive children who require much dental treatment, and children with special needs that would not respond well to other sedation options. IV sedation offers comprehensive treatment in a timely manner for these children and helps them to maintain a positive attitude towards taking care of their teeth. Your child will be “asleep” while the dentist is able to complete all of the necessary dental procedures in one visit.

Your child’s safety is our utmost priority--no sedation is recommended lightly, unless it is deemed absolutely necessary and the benefits significantly outweigh the risk. Dr. Joyce and her team work with a highly-trained and board-certified pediatric medical anesthesiologist group to safely treat, monitor, and care for your child in our office. This also avoids multiple appointments since all the dental treatment is complete in one visit, and parents have the comfort of being in a relaxed setting.For additional information about our board-certified pediatric medical anesthesiologists, Children’s Dental Anesthesiologist Group, please visit:

Is Sedation Right for My Child?

Please feel free to discuss your child’s needs and concerns with us. We are more than happy to answer your questions related to pediatric dental sedation recommendations. Contact us today for more information.

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