Sedation & General Anaesthesia

Cartoon octopus

Is dental sedation right for your child?

While anxiety, fear and pain can be modified by behaviour management techniques, in many cases sedation is required for children when undergoing dental procedures. Usually these children are younger and although procedures are not particularly uncomfortable, they require the child to lie still. Sedation and anaesthesia allow a child to handle the dental treatment in a much more calm and comfortable manner, which in most cases can lead to better clinical outcomes and help prevent injury from uncontrolled or undesirable movement.

There are three ways to manage anxiety by sedation so that children can
undergo medical/dental treatment:

Conscious Sedation

Your child will still be awake and alert with conscious sedation. Most commonly achieved with laughing gas (nitrous oxide), conscious sedation in St. Catharines allows your child to feel an overall sense of calm and relaxation during the treatment. Nitrous oxide is one of the most commonly used sedatives in dentistry, and with good reason – it is simple to receive and it quickly leaves the body once the procedure is complete, leaving no lingering side effects. 

However, if your child has any breathing issues that makes it difficult to breathe through their nose, nitrous oxide may not be the right solution. Other concerns that make nitrous oxide more difficult to handle include severe anxiety, the age of the child and the amount/complexity of dental work required. 


Deep Sedation

Your child will be ‘asleep’ during deep sedation dentistry. A dentist anaesthesiologist like Dr. Campbell or Dr. Adams are specialty trained, registered and licensed to provide sleep dentistry and have additional training to sedate children. 

Deep sedation is commonly achieved with incremental doses of a medication through an intravenous (IV). The majority of times, children will have a drink about 15 minutes prior to treatment that will get them sleepy and relaxed, and will breath some nitrous oxide and watch a movie while they have an intravenous (IV) placed that will help them fall asleep. 

This form of sedation ensures your child will receive all the treatment required during a single visit as our fully trained and accredited team members will ensure they are sedated and taken care of the entire time. This is a very predictable source of sedation and is most commonly used for younger (pre cooperative), high-anxiety, fearful or uncooperative patients or for those who require extensive or technique sensitive dental work. You will always have a consultation with one of our anaesthesia providers to explain deep sedation, all available options, as well as to discuss anaesthesia safety.


General Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia is commonly used for more invasive operations. General anaesthesia involves placing a breathing tube and using medications to keep a patient asleep. General anaesthesia is very predictable and safe when administered by a skilled provider. As with deep sedation, children are initially sedated with nitrous oxide while watching a movie prior to IV placement to allow for the best and easiest placement.  

Dentist anaesthesiologists and medical anaesthesiologists have this level of training and are the ones allowed to provide this type of anaesthesia.  If necessary, you will always have a consultation with one of our anaesthesia providers prior to general anaesthesia to discuss all available options, as well as anaesthesia safety.

young girl receiving laughing gas

The staff at Coral Kids Dentistry and Braces takes pride in ensuring that we provide our patients and their families with the most information possible, to ensure you are able to make informed decisions regarding your child’s oral health care. We will always provide you with our treatment plan and suggestions to give you the time you need to review and make decisions based on these recommendations.

Important rules for safe dental anaesthesia

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your child.

Children are delicate and require sensitivity, compassion and expertise.