Dental anxiety has been around for a long time. In the US alone, an estimated 36% of people have some level of anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist. This number rises considerably when we consider how many people don’t see a dentist regularly because they are too afraid.

Sedation dentistry has been around for many years to help alleviate dental fear and is a safe way to perform anxiety-free dental procedures. It is also great for people who fear needles or instruments used by the dentist, have a strong gag reflex, or have extremely sensitive teeth. 

If you’re searching for a kid’s sedation dentist Denver, CO, or sedation dentist near me, we can help. We will work with you to ensure that your child has the best experience at our clinic. To book an appointment, call (303) 953-8801 or complete the online booking form

We look forward to providing your family with the best possible dental experience.


Sedation Through The Years

Many sedation methods have been tried and tested over the years for various dental treatments. In 1844, Dr. Horace Wells first used nitrous oxide as the first form of dental sedation.

In 1846, Dr. William Morton discovered that diethyl ether could be used for surgery. This allowed patients to be more comfortable during procedures, but it also had its downfalls. The patient could become sick from the anesthesia, and sometimes it would wear off before the completion of the procedure. In 1869, the current practice of mixing oxygen and nitrous oxide was implemented.

Types of Sedation Used Today

Today, different forms of sedation can be used depending on the dental procedure performed and the level of sedation the patient needs or wants. 

There are four main types of sedation used in dental practices today:

  • Oral Conscious Sedation: A pill is taken before the appointment to help the patient relax. The pill can be a light sedative or a heavy sedative, depending on what the dentist recommends. Oral sedatives are great for patients with a fear of needles because no injections are necessary.
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled through a mask during the procedure. It relaxes the patient and helps to reduce any anxiety or fear they may be feeling. The effects of nitrous oxide usually wear off after about 5 min.
  • IV Sedation: IV sedation (deep sedation) is used for more complex procedures or for patients with higher anxiety levels. The sedative is administered through an IV directly into the bloodstream and takes effect almost immediately. The patient will remain awake but in a deep state of relaxation.
  • General Anesthesia: General anesthesia is used for complex oral surgery or for patients who have a severe fear of dental work. The patient is in a sleep-like state and will not be aware of the procedure. An anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia and is usually only used in hospital settings.

How to Prepare for Sedation

If your child is scheduled for a procedure that will require sedation, there are a few things you need to do in preparation.

  • You will be given specific instructions about eating and drinking before your procedure. It is very important that you follow these instructions to avoid any complications.
  • Make sure your child wears comfortable clothing. They should not wear makeup, contact lenses, body piercings, or jewelry.
  • Let the dentist know about any medications they are taking and any allergies they have.

Is Sedation Safe for Children?

Yes, sedation is safe for children. The type of sedation will be determined by the procedure being performed and the age and weight of the child. Nitrous oxide is the most common form of sedation for children. It is safe and effective and wears off quickly. IV sedation is also safe for children and can be used for more complex procedures. Our staff will monitor your child through the entire procedure.

Sedation For Children With Special Needs

Children with special needs may find it difficult or impossible to receive dental treatment for various reasons, including mental, physical, medical, and psychological conditions. In these cases, sedation may be recommended. Many children with special needs benefit from the use of sedation to allow them to undergo dental treatment they would otherwise be unable to endure

Some of the common reasons we use sedation for children with special needs include the following:

  • Cognitive impairments
  • Pediatric autism
  • Lack of cooperation to treatment
  • Multiple morbidities
  • Seizure disorders

We provide a variety of safe and effective sedation and anesthesia choices for kids in these situations to ensure that they obtain the dental treatment they require.

Risks of Sedation

There are always risks associated with any type of sedation. Your dentist will discuss any underlying medical conditions that may increase the risks. The risks will depend on the type of sedation used and the child’s health. 

Some risks include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic reactions
  • Breathing problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Cardiac complications

How to Prepare Your Child For A Dental Visit


The best way to prepare your child mentally is, to be honest with them. Explain to them what the procedure is and why they need it. Tell them that the sedation will help them relax and not feel any pain.

  • No solid food or non-clear liquids should be provided the night before surgery, including formula, milk, juice with pulp, or candy. Your dentist will give you detailed instructions on what your child can have to drink the morning of the procedure.
  • If your child takes a daily prescription, you may give it unless told not to do so by their doctor.
  • If possible, show them pictures or videos of other children having the same procedure done.
  • Let them bring a stuffed animal or toy that makes them feel comfortable.
  • Comfort them as they come out of the sedation and let them know everything is okay. They may be confused, nauseous, and fussy. These symptoms will go away shortly after the procedure.
  • Lead by example, be confident, and your child will follow your lead. 

Sedation Dentistry In Denver CO

At Youth Dental and Vision, we understand how anxious dental visits can be, and we are here to help. Our sedation options will help you and your child feel relaxed and comfortable during any procedure. If you’re searching for a kid’s sedation dentist Denver, CO, or a sedation dentist near me, we are here to help. We will work with you to ensure that your child has the best experience at our clinic.

Visit us in Denver at Denver Youth Dental and Vision and Hampden Youth Dental and Orthodontics. We also serve the Thornton and Aurora population. Visit us at Aurora Youth Dental and Vision and Thornton Youth Dentistry. We aim to help you make the best decision for your child’s smile. To schedule an appointment, call (303) 953-8801 or complete the online booking form.  

We look forward to helping your child achieve a healthy smile!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sedation Painful?

No, sedation is not painful. The needle for IV sedation is the only thing that may cause discomfort. Once the IV is in, you will not feel any pain. The purpose of sedation is to make the patient comfortable and relaxed.

What Drug Is Used for IV Sedation in Dentistry?

The most common drug used for IV sedation in dentistry is midazolam. Propofol and ketamine are sometimes used also.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

The cost of sedation dentistry will depend on the type of sedation used and the length of the procedure.

What Is the Safest Dental Sedation?

The safest dental sedation is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. It is the most commonly used form of sedation and has minimal side effects.

How Will I Feel After Sedation?

After sedation, you may feel groggy and disoriented. Some patients may also experience some nausea or vomiting. These symptoms should go away within a few hours after the procedure.