Children’s Dentistry of Chattanooga

Logo of Children's Dentistry of Chattanooga - Pediatric Dentist

Sedation Dentistry in Chattanooga, TN

When kids have a negative experience with a dentist, when they feel traumatized by the unexpected, or overwhelmed by fear, it can be the beginning of the end for their teeth. These kids have a hard time with something as simple and non-invasive as a cleaning. They stop being willing to open their mouths for even a checkup. And often, they grow up to be people who avoid the dentist completely. We want to make sure that never happens to any of our patients. It’s why we insist on gentleness, compassion, and joy – and why we offer pediatric sedation dentistry.

Some kids are just too young to fully comprehend the need for extensive dental work. Others have special needs that make getting comfortable with dentistry difficult, and still, others are recovering from a bad experience at a previous dental office. And sometimes, kids just need too much work for them to tolerate without a little extra help.

That’s when we like to recommend pediatric sedation. We have a full range of kid-safe options to help kids get the dentistry they need and deserve – without fear, trauma, or pain.

All of our dental sedation is overseen by our pediatric anesthesiologist, and attended to by our caring staff, so you know your children are safe and secure.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Laughing gas is the common term for Nitrous Oxide, a safe and mild method used during dental procedures. Your child will be awake and responsive throughout the procedure, in a more relaxed state.

Because this type of dentistry is short-lived with a gentle effect, it is often used for children. Nitrous oxide puts patients at ease to remain relaxed during dental procedures allowing the anxious child a more pleasant dental experience! We customize each case individually and will discuss sedation only if necessary.

Kid having pediatric sedation dentistry performed

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation (OCS) is a safe, effective, and non-invasive method to help increase cooperation and reduce anxiety and discomfort/pain associated with dental treatment. Various medications can be used to sedate a child and are selected based on your child’s age, overall health, level of anxiety, and dental treatment recommendations.

Once the medications have been administered orally, it may take up to an hour or more before your child shows signs of sedation and is ready for dental treatment. In addition to the oral medication, nitrous oxide gas will be used in conjunction to help achieve an ideal level of sedation. Most children become relaxed and drowsy and may drift into a light sleep from which they can be aroused easily. Unlike general anesthesia, sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive. Some children may not experience relaxation but an opposite reaction such as agitation or crying. This response to the medication may prevent us from completing the dental procedures.

OCS is only effective about 90% of the time with proper case selection.  It is much more effective than using nitrous oxide alone. Parents are allowed in the room.

Deeper Sedation

We are certified by the Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Association to offer more profound sedation right here in our comfortable sedation center. This level of sedation is always administered by a board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist with a decade of experience.

We also offer hospital sedation at Erlanger Children’s Hospital.