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Getting children to stay calm at the dentist can be challenging, especially when they are very young. The dentist is a new environment that your child is not very familiar with, and it can feel overstimulating or even a bit scary. Sedation dentistry can make your child’s visits to the dentist more comfortable for everyone involved. 


With sedation dentistry, we use medicine to help your child relax or even fall asleep during their dental procedure. Mill Dam Dental Care is the leading provider of sedation dentistry in the Virginia Beach area. We work with patients of all ages, and we offer sedation options for a wide variety of treatments. Here’s what you need to know about sedation dentistry for kids.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

There are many benefits to using sedation dentistry for kids of all ages. One of the biggest benefits of using sedation dentistry is that it can help your child relax during the dental appointment. This is especially helpful if your child has a fear of the dentist. Knowing that your child will be calm and comfortable during the appointment can make the entire day less stressful for everyone. 

Sedation dentistry is also very helpful for intensive procedures that may cause discomfort or pain. While it is rare for children to receive intensive dental work, it does happen from time to time. Keeping your child sedated ensure they will remain comfortable for the duration of the procedure. 

Finally, dentists are able to work much more quickly and efficiently when the patient is relaxed or fully sedated. This is because there is no gag reflex or other muscle tension that can get in the way when the dentist is working. If your child has trouble sitting still, partial sedation can be incredibly effective when getting dental work done.

When Should You Use Sedation Dentistry for Your Kids?

Sedation can be very helpful for young kids at the dentist’s office, but it isn’t going to be the right choice for every appointment. Here’s when we may recommend sedation for pediatric appointments.

Intensive Procedures

Some dental procedures, like pulling teeth, require some sort of sedation in order to do properly. These intensive procedures would be too uncomfortable for patients of any age to sit through without sedation, much less a child. If your child is undergoing an intensive procedure, your dentist will discuss your sedation options at an initial consultation so you know what to expect.

Fear of The Dentist

While we try to make each appointment as comfortable as possible for patients, we do understand that some children (and adults!) have a fear of the dentist. This could be from past experiences or just things you’ve heard about in the past. If your child is struggling with an extreme fear of the dentist, sedation dentistry can make even routine appointments feel a little more comfortable.

Underlying Physical or Mental Health Conditions

Some children have physical and mental health conditions that can make sitting still for the dentist difficult. If your child struggles with an underlying health condition, sedation dentistry might be a good option for you.

When Not To Use Sedation Dentistry

There are some instances where your child may not need sedation dentistry. It does take extra time to get your child sedated, and there is also a recovery period afterward. For quick procedures, it’s not always worth taking the extra time that sedation dentistry takes. 

If you’re wondering whether or not sedation dentistry is right for you and your child, don’t hesitate to ask during your first appointment. The dentist can assess your unique situation and decide what approach is going to work best for your child.

sedation operation

What Types of Sedation Dentistry Are Available?

We offer three different types of sedation dentistry at Mill Dam Dental. The type of sedation your child receives will depend on the specific treatment they are getting.

Inhaled Minimal Sedation

This is the mildest form of sedation we offer for appointments. This is a great option for kids who have trouble relaxing or sitting still during a dental appointment. With this type of sedation, the patient inhales a small amount of nitrous oxide. They feel relaxed throughout the procedure but don’t fall asleep. We monitor patients closely when using this form of sedation to ensure they are comfortable. Patients should feel normal shortly after the procedure and recovery time is minimal.

Oral Conscious Sedation

With this type of sedation, patients take a sedative orally in the form of a tablet or liquid shortly before the procedure. The patient feels very relaxed and drowsy, and may not remember much of the procedure afterward, but they are still awake. This type of sedation is more intense and takes longer to wear off than inhaled minimal sedation. It’s another good option for children who need intensive procedures because it is easy to administer and works quickly.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is reserved for the most intensive sedation dentistry procedures. With this type of sedation, medication is administered through an IV, which puts the patient completely to sleep. We offer IV sedation for many different types of procedures, but it does take more time to administer and recover from than the other types of sedation that are available. However, it can still be a good option for children who really struggle at the dentist. 

If you are interested in sedation dentistry, don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s dentist to see what they recommend. They will also give you instructions on how to prepare for the appointment and what to expect afterward. Be sure to follow these instructions closely to ensure that the appointment goes smoothly. 


Contact Mill Dam Dental Care today to learn more about our sedation dentistry options. We are the leading provider of sedation dentistry solutions in the Virginia Beach area. We’re here to help you and your child feel as comfortable as possible during your dental visits.