Pediatric Sedation Dentistry
In San Diego

Safe & Comfortable Care

Sedation dentistry

We know that kids are often scared, nervous, or uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a pediatric dentist in San Diego, particularly for treatments like fillings, crowns, or other such procedures. That’s why Dr. Wendy offers gentle, caring treatment in San Diego, as well as a wide variety of sedation options for kids. If you believe your child could benefit from sedation during their treatment, just contact us today to learn more about your options and schedule an appointment.

Pediatric sedation dentist in San Diego

Relax With Laughing Gas

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) sedation is our preferred sedation method for most kids. That’s because it helps your child feel happy and less anxious, and also reduces any sensations of discomfort. Along with numbing, laughing gas is ideal for most dental procedures.

The best thing about laughing gas is that it wears off quickly. Once your child’s procedure is over, they’ll be back to normal in about 5 minutes. They may feel a little confused, dizzy, or nauseated, but this will pass quickly, so you and your little one can get back to your normal day-to-day routines.

Sedation dentist for kids in san diego

Deep Sedation For Kids

IV Sedation

We also offer IV sedation. This method of sedation is often a good choice for children with special needs or behavioral issues, or for kids who are just very nervous or scared of their appointment.

In this treatment, powerful anti-anxiety medications will be delivered through an IV bag directly into their bloodstream. These will make your child very groggy and sleepy, and they will probably forget the entire procedure. 

It’s important to note, though, that IV sedation is not general anesthesia. Your child won’t be “knocked out.” They may fall asleep, but they will still be conscious and responsive to commands.

kid sedation dentist in San Diego

The Benefits Of

Sedation Dentistry

Firstly and most importantly, sedation dentistry helps your child relax, stay calm, and enjoy a smoother appointment at Sprouting Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. This is really important, since difficult dental experiences in kids can contribute to future dental anxiety.

Sedation dentistry is also a good option for kids who may have trouble sitting still, or will be uncomfortable during a longer dental appointment. When your child is sedated, Dr. Wendy and our team can usually work more efficiently, which leads to better overall patient outcomes.

Sedation is also really helpful for kids who are afraid of needles. Even kids without dental anxiety may be afraid of numbing needles, and sedation helps them relax and stay calm while they get the numbing shots they need.

Finally, sedation even helps reduce strong gag reflexes, which are common in kids. This can be really beneficial if Dr. Wendy needs to work on a rear tooth.

Child sedation dentistry in San Diego

Is My Child A Good Candidate

For Sedation Dentistry?

In most cases, the answer is “yes,” especially for nitrous oxide sedation. However, Dr. Wendy will still need to discuss your child’s health with you before they can be sedated. She will need to know about their medical history, medications and supplements they’re taking, allergies, and other information to ensure they can be safely sedated at Sprouting Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

Child sedation dentistry in San Diego



Yes, dental sedation is safe for patients of all ages, including kids and the elderly. Sedation helps mitigate dental anxiety and keeps the children calm throughout the entire procedure. It’s important to note that the type of sedation used depends on the procedure your child is undergoing, underlying conditions they might have, their level of anxiety, and personal preferences.

Children have unique sedation needs, and dentists typically review your child’s medical history and specific concerns before administering any form of sedation. Most dentists recommend light sedatives like nitrous oxide and mild forms of oral sedation. These provide just enough sedation to keep the child anxiety-free and relaxed without any harmful effects.

Child sedation dentistry in San Diego



The period of effectiveness for sedation in kids varies with the type of sedation. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), for instance, only lasts for a few minutes before it wears off. It’s also a fast-acting sedative, taking effect within a few minutes but also disappearing just as fast.

The effective period of oral sedation, on the other hand, varies depending on the specific medication and prescribed dosage.  However, they typically last for a few hours before wearing off completely. Kids may still feel groggy and drowsy hours after the procedure.

Intravenous sedation directly supplies sedatives to your kid’s bloodstream via an IV drip. IV sedation is a heavier form of sedation recommended for complex surgeries. Like oral sedation, effectiveness depends on the medication and dosage, ranging from mild to deep sedation. IV sedation, especially deep sedation, takes several hours to wear off. For that reason, dentists might recommend close monitoring for a few days after treatment.

Child sedation dentistry in San Diego



Adequate preparation for dental sedation is crucial for the success of your kid’s dental procedure. Some of the best ways to prepare your kid for the process include fasting with them the night before the procedure to improve the sedative’s effectiveness. You should also dress them in their most comfortable clothing, even their PJs. And bring with you their favorite toy, blanket, or stuffed animal to comfort them and make them less anxious.

You’ll also want to reassure them that everything will be alright. Frame the appointment positively, in terms they can understand. Words of affirmation go a long way to boost their confidence and make them less anxious.

Additionally, plan something in advance for them to look forward to after the procedure. Maybe a trip to the aquarium or tell them of a special surprise waiting for them at home. This will distract them from the sedation process and the upcoming procedure.

Child sedation dentistry in San Diego

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