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In 2016, a young girl passed away due to cardiac arrest after she was sedated for a simple cavity filling procedure. There have been other reports of kids going through serious health complications after being anesthetized.
Every parent’s number one priority is the safety of their children. This blog is for those concerned parents who want to make sure they’re aware of any possible risks and complications that may arise from oral sedation.

Types of Sedation

Before giving dentists the go-ahead of sedating your child, you should be aware of the types of sedation methods and the associated risks.
Nitrous oxide is one of the most common chemicals used for sedation. Also known as ‘laughing gas,’ nitrous oxide is a mild sedative with the least risks. The chemical induces a relaxed feeling with a little lightheadedness. Some children don’t like the feeling and can become seriously distressed after the chemical has taken effect.
Moderate sedation keeps children awake enough to follow what the dentist wants them to do. After the procedure, children are likely to forget that the procedure ever happened.
IV medication is used for deep sedation that puts the child to sleep. Whenever deep sedation is used, there must be an experienced anesthesiologist present to supervise the procedure as the patient may have difficulty breathing on their own.
General anesthesia is reserved for only a certain percentage of patients who need to be completely unconscious. It’s only allowed in places with ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) or a hospital.


Before sedation takes place, parents are advised by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to have a basic understanding of the procedure to help prepare the child.
Children shouldn’t  be allowed to eat or drink before as under the effects of sedation breathing is hindered and food can be vomited and inhaled through the lungs.
You should also make sure that you’ve provided a complete medical history, along with the list of medications or supplements your child may be using.


After the procedure, you should comfort your child and explain to them the situation, if possible. Bring some of their favorite toys or read to them their favorite books to make them feel safe.
You should always double-check with the dentist and anesthesiologist if the child is ready to be taken home.
At least two people should accompany the child and regularly check breathing, heart rate and other vital signs.

At Boulevard Dental, located in Palmdale, CA, we employ the best dentists of the industry and train them to be more receptive and courteous in their behavior with patients. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to cater to children’s needs and ensure that your child is treated with care and respect in a comfortable environment. You can reach us at 661-947-7737 to book an appointment today!

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