Conscious Oral Sedation for Children in Central Jersey

Conscious Oral Sedation in NJ

What is Conscious Oral Sedation?

While many children have no problem sitting in a dental chair and receiving treatment of all kinds, others are fearful or have difficulty sitting still.

When combined with behavior management techniques, conscious oral sedation or minimal sedation can help children rest comfortably during dental work.

Conscious oral sedation allows pediatric dentists to complete procedures without anxiety. The dentist gives oral or inhaled medications to the child before treatment, making them very relaxed.

Children who have previously been upset at the dentist can relax with conscious oral sedation or nitrous oxide. This procedure allows parents to relax as well.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a safe medication administered through the nose. It is an odorless and colorless gas.

A soft cap fits over your child's nose and delivers the gas mixed with oxygen. Nitrous oxide relaxes children and often gives them a feeling of euphoria.


Our practice also uses Versed (midazolam), a liquid medication administered in a cup or oral syringe. Versed has been well-studied in children. See below for complete pre-procedure instructions for you and your child.

Benefits of Conscious Oral Sedation

Some children feel anxious about dental work. Others find it challenging to sit in a dental chair and cooperate for an extended period. Parents often have concerns that their children will not be able to receive quality treatment due to their fears.

Sedation can reduce the time a child worries about the upcoming dental procedure. Decreased anxiety before the visit means a child is less likely to act out or experience physical health problems like stomachaches due to stress.

Is Your Child a Good Candidate for Conscious Oral Sedation?

Here are a few points you should consider when deciding whether you should ask us about conscious oral sedation for your child:

  • Good Overall Health: To receive conscious oral sedation, a child needs to be in good overall health. We may reschedule if they are ill with coughs, colds, fevers, or other respiratory symptoms.
  • Behavior at the Dentist: If your child has problems sitting still or loses emotional control at the dentist, they may be an excellent candidate for conscious oral sedation. 
  • Experiencing Severe Anxiety: Sedation can help fearful children relax and keep them from negatively anticipating the appointment in advance.
  • Needs Multiple Procedures: If your child has several dental issues to address at once, sedation may help them sit through a long appointment. The dentist can get more work done simultaneously.

Why Choose TenderSmiles4Kids?

At TenderSmiles4Kids, we provide your family with the highest-quality dental care in a friendly environment. Our dentists and assistants have many years of experience treating children. We can accommodate children with dental anxiety and put their fears to rest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are parents' top questions about conscious oral sedation for children:

Will my child be asleep during the appointment?

We offer conscious oral sedation. Your child will be drowsy but awake. They will be able to talk to the dentist and respond to requests. They may sometimes doze off during treatment.

Can I go into the treatment room with my child?

Only the dental personnel will be in the treatment room with your child for everyone's safety. Parents will be in the waiting room.

Will my child receive monitoring during the procedure?

Yes, your child will be under constant monitoring. We continuously check the child's pulse rate and oxygen saturation using a pulse oximeter on the toe.

Can my child have water or food before the procedure?

You must follow the pre-treatment instructions below. If your child drinks or eats before sedation, they risk nausea which could cause aspiration during the procedure.

Will my child remember the procedure?

Sometimes children do not have a conscious memory of what happens while they are under oral sedation. Your child's memory of the appointment may be hazy.

How long will my child be sedated?

With nitrous oxide, your child will have returned to normal by the time they leave the office. They can go about their usual activities as soon as they arrive home.

With Versed, the effects last somewhat longer. The child will still be recovering from the sedation while leaving the office. They will feel different for the rest of the day. Monitor your child closely, so they don't hurt themselves.

How quickly can children return to normal activities after sedation?

With nitrous oxide, children can return to school or daycare the same day. With Versed, they must rest quietly at home until the next morning. Give your child plenty of fluids to clear the sedative from their system. Avoid dairy products for the first day.

Does insurance cover conscious oral sedation or nitrous oxide?

Most dental insurance policies require a small additional copay for conscious oral sedation or nitrous oxide. Check with your insurance before your child’s appointment.

Choosing Conscious Oral Sedation

Pediatric dentists have multiple options for keeping children calm and relaxed during dental procedures. If your child is anxious or has special needs, talk to your dentist about your concerns so you can formulate a plan.

We are ready to help even the most anxious children with their dental needs and can restore their healthy smiles. Join our family of satisfied patients and discover how your child can benefit from conscious oral sedation.

Call Us Today

Contact TenderSmiles4Kids at one of our convenient Central New Jersey offices to ask us about conscious oral sedation and make an appointment for your child.

Please click on the link for detailed instructions on preparing your child for oral sedation.

Instructions for Oral Sedation