A dental procedure, such as a filling, crown, or extraction may be stressful for young children, especially when they’re not used to the steps, the sounds, and the sensations of the dentist. Sedation dentistry is a way to provide these dental treatments and more to young or fearful patients in a safe and effective way.

Types of Sedation in Chapel Hill, NC

  • Inhaled sedation is the administration of an inhaled gas such as nitrous oxide or "laughing gas" to calm the patient. Nitrous oxide suppresses the gag reflex and decreases pain. The child is still fully awake and able to follow directions and respond verbally.
  • Intravenous sedation uses an IV to deliver a liquid medication to sedate the patient deeply and quickly. The patient is "asleep" and unable to follow directions or respond verbally. This method is often used in wisdom tooth removal.
  • Oral sedation involves the patient swallowing a medication, either in pill or liquid form, to help calm them. They are not fully asleep and can often follow directions and respond verbally, albeit in a delayed manner. Some of the oral sedatives have an amnesiac effect so the patient has no memory of the dental treatment.

Dr. Hardin and Dr. Shauna offer inhalation sedation, as well as oral sedation. In cases for children who will not swallow medication, we offer nasal sedation. We also partner with a dental anesthesiologist to administer general anesthesia. General anesthesia is used for patients who need extensive work and are unable to tolerate lengthy treatment.

Preparing for Your Child’s Treatment

We instruct patients who are having oral sedation not to have anything to eat or drink after midnight prior to their appointment. This is for the safety of the patient. We also recommend limited activities following any form of sedation until all the effects are worn off. 

We do encourage a light meal prior to inhaled sedation "laughing gas". 

Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry is a calm, pleasant environment where we genuinely care about your child’s health and wellbeing. Our doctors and staff are all extensively trained in pediatric dentistry and a variety of sedation techniques to meet your child’s needs.