Sedation Dentistry for Children
Our sedation services are provided
on a continuum based on your child’s needs.
Services range from “anxiolysis” using Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen provided with a nasal hood, to “oral conscious sedation” using a cocktail of sedative medications that are extremely safe for children, and finally “general anesthesia” provided by a team including a dental anesthesiologist using an IV and ventilator to deliver the medications.
Nitrous oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe anxiolytic agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over your child’s nose. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide allows the patient to breathe normally through their nose and within minutes they may begin to feel the relaxing effects. Ultimately, they should feel comfortable and calm, and they may feel light-headed or notice a tingling in their arms and legs. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the gas is removed. Prior to this, your child is provided with 100% oxygen for 3-5 minutes after the procedure to flush out their airways. We always encourage parents to talk with us about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for your child.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedations involve using an oral sedative called midazolam(Versed) and is used to create anterograde amnesia. Once administered, most patients have no memory of the dental procedure the following day. Patients with high levels of anxiety, special needs or extensive tooth decay may benefit from oral conscious sedation. Dr. Shaughnessy and his team can discuss the risks and benefits of oral conscious sedation to help you decide if this is a good choice for your child.
IV Sedation or General Anesthesia
Intravenous (IV) Sedation, also known as general anesthesia, uses medications to allow the patient to sleep while receiving dental treatment. Patients with high anxiety, special needs, extensive dental treatment needs, may benefit from treatment under general anesthesia. Dr. Shaughnessy and his team can discuss the risks and benefits of general anesthesia to help you decide if this is an appropriate choice for your child.
Dr. Patrick McCarty, Dental Anesthesiologist
Dr. McCarty is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry and completed a residency in anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He is Board certified through the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology & the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. McCarty lives in greater Boston with his wife and child and has provided mobile office based anesthesia services since 2007.