Sedation Dentistry

Pediatric Services

ABQ Pediatric Dentistry provides sedation dentistry for children in Albuquerque, NM. Call 505-888-3520 to learn more and schedule your appointment.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of chemically induced relaxation techniques during dental procedures. Children who feel nervous or anxious about receiving dental care can feel more calm and relaxed with the help of sedation. 

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry offers many benefits for children: 

  • Avoids unnecessary stress. There’s no reason for a child to feel stressed or for their parents to feel stress due to fear of a dental procedure. Sedation helps the experience go smoothly for everyone involved. 
  • Prevent dental anxiety. Using sedation for a procedure can prevent a child from developing dental anxiety regarding all future dental care experiences. 
  • Patients are more cooperative. Sedation helps children cooperate more easily during dental procedures. 
  • Helps with long, complex procedures. Some procedures are complex or lengthy and sedation can help reduce stress on the body as well as allowing our dental team to be able to complete the necessary dental work well and in a calmer setting.

Types of Sedation We Provide

  • Local Anesthesia. For certain dental procedures, Dr. Tasker may want to "numb" your child's tooth and neighboring gums with “sleepy juice”. Local anesthesia refers to a topical and/or injected anesthetic (such as Lidocaine or Septocaine) that is administered in a specific "localized" area to decrease the sensation of pain. Dr. Tasker's gentle approach will help make your child feel comfortable during local anesthesia administration as well as the entire duration of the dental procedure.
  • Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous oxide, also called "laughing gas", is a safe and short-term form of sedation that can reduce your child's dental anxiety. It is a minimally invasive form of sedation; your child is awake and able to breathe normally during the entire procedure. It is administered through a small mask that fits over your child's nose. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and within a few minutes your child may feel a tingling or heavy sensation in his/her arms and legs. It has no long-lasting effects as it completely dissipates from the system once 100% oxygen is administered and the mask is removed; therefore your child is not sedated following their appointment. Dr. Tasker will discuss whether nitrous oxide is a good option for your child's dental treatment.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation. This type of moderate sedation uses a combination of oral medications to ease your child without putting them to sleep. This type of medication will make your child a little drowsy and will potentially keep him/her relaxed and calm during the procedure. It may also produce an amnesia effect so your child will not recall the specific details about the dental procedure. Dr. Tasker will ask your child to not eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment, then your child will take the medication orally once you arrive at the appointment. The medication will usually begin to work within 20 minutes. Dr. Tasker will gladly discuss if this option is the best one for your child. 
  • Deep IV Sedation, In-Office General Anesthesia or Hospital Dentistry.  Some children with severe dental phobia, special health care needs and/or extensive dental treatment needs may benefit from a deeper form of sedation. Deep sedation and general anesthesia allows your child to be 'asleep' for the procedure. It can be performed in an office setting or in the hospital. Your child's breathing, heart rate and other vital signs will be carefully monitored before, during and after the procedure by a trained anesthesiologist. Dr. Tasker has worked with offices that provide general anesthesia in an office setting, as well as Presbyterian and Lovelace Hospitals. He can discuss the risks and benefits to help you decide if this is the best option for your child's needs.

Why Choose ABQ Pediatric Dentistry?

At ABQ Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Tasker and his team take patient safety very seriously. We aim to always safely treat every child while also making sure that every dental experience is positive, trauma-free and comfortable.

At ABQ Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Tasker and his team take
patient safety very seriously. We aim to always safely treat every child while also making sure that every dental experience is positive, trauma-free and comfortable.

FAQs About Hospital and Sedation Dentistry

Should I sedate my child for dental work?

You know your child better than anyone, but we’re happy to discuss your concerns prior to your child’s procedure and help you make a decision about sedation. Every child, every family, every parent and every dental treatment plan is different and Dr. Tasker is more than happy to discuss all the options as it relates to your child’s specific dental needs.

Is dental nitrous oxide safe?

Yes, nitrous oxide is safe. It has very few risks or side effects, all of which are temporary. If your child has a sensitivity to nitrous oxide, some of these potential side effects include sweating, nausea, shivering, dizziness, and, very rarely, hallucinations.

Does nitrous oxide help with pain?

Nitrous oxide helps ease anxiety and relax patients during dental procedures, but it doesn’t help eliminate all pain. When a procedure has the potential to be painful, we will still need to use a local anesthetic to numb the area to ensure a pain-free, trauma-free appointment.

Can kids go back to school after laughing gas?

Yes, one of the reasons why laughing gas is used in pediatric dentistry for sedation is because it wears off so quickly. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off minutes after the mask is removed, so your child can go back to school after their procedure.

Is it safe to put a child to sleep for dental work?

Deep sedation and general anesthesia certainly has risks that every parent should be aware of, but performed under the care of a trained anesthesiology team it is safe, especially when milder forms of sedation are not an option.