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Is Dental Sedation Safe for Kids?

Sedation is a tool used by dentists to calm down patients, especially during certain procedures that may be deemed extra painful. Sedation medications are usually very powerful drugs that need to be administered very carefully, with precision, and this may be concerning for parents, when their children need to be sedated.

Are sedation drugs safe to use for kids?

When it comes to any medication, especially in children, dosage is very important.

Safety is the most important aspect when it comes to medicating children. The child’s height, weight and age are taken into consideration before an anaesthetist can administer any drug, making it a very safe procedure.

This is why it is important to visit only registered, recognised physicians. The dentists in Affinity Dental’s network are vetted and fully qualified, so that you can choose the best service, closest to you.


Types of Sedation

Colgate breaks down the different types of sedation available to children.


Oral Sedation

Oral sedation, nitrous oxide and intravenous sedation are taken by mouth or through the nose as soon as the patient arrives at the appointment, as the medicine usually takes up to 20 minutes to work. Oral sedation doesn’t put patients to sleep, but it helps them stay calm and relaxed.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, also helps children to remain calm.

A mask delivers a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which usually works within five minutes of starting the procedure.

At the end of the procedure, pure oxygen is given to the patient to clear out any latent nitrous oxide.

The antihistamine, usually hydroxyzine, is given to prevent nausea and to promote drying of the mouth. Supplemented with inhaled nitrous oxide, this drug regimen has become one of the most widely used sedation protocols in paediatric dentistry, reports Dental Economics.



Intravenous sedation is delivered through a needle inserted into the patient’s throat to aid breathing.