Pediatric Sedation Dentistry

Sedating a child is a very safe procedure, and helps parents reduce the risks and stress level for their child before, during and after the treatment.

To decrease the anxiety that many children have for getting their treatment done, Dr. McKeever offers his patients the option of anesthesia services, including nitrous oxide, conscious sedation and IV sedation. The most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in children is nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Dr. McKeever may recommend oral sedation or IV sedation for younger children, apprehensive children, and children with special needs. You and the doctor will review your options during your visit.

Schedule Appointment


About Pediatric Sedation Dentistry


Dr. McKeever may recommend sedation for long, complex procedures or for patients who are especially young or nervous.

Accredited by JCAHO

The Salinas Pediatric Dental Center is the first pediatric dental center in the area to be accredited by JCAHO. JCAHO is the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, an independent non-profit commission that recognizes the highest quality healthcare in America and around the world. The Salinas Pediatric Dental Center has met the highest standards of quality care as a dental facility, which means our center is governed by the strictest federal and state healthcare regulations.

What is nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” and is it safe for children?

Nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in pediatric dentistry for many years. It is safe and your child will always be breathing more oxygen than there is in room air.

Your child is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide. However, Dr. McKeever may not want to use it if your child has emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.

What are the advantages to using nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide can be a great aid in helping your child relax and accept necessary steps for treatment.

  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • It is very effective in minimizing a gag reflex.
  • It works rapidly, in as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

What is conscious sedation and when is it used in Pediatric Dentistry?

Oral sedation is administered by mouth or through the nose about 20 minutes before work begins. Oral sedation doesn’t put your child to sleep, but it helps him or her stay calm and relaxed. Your child is awake and can respond to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation.

What is IV sedation and when is it used in Pediatric Dentistry?

The Salinas Pediatric Dental Center also offers IV sedation for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. We have a dentist anesthesiologist on staff who can administer and monitor the sedation.  Intravenous sedation is delivered through a needle inserted into the child’s vein, typically on the back of the child’s hand. Nitrous oxide is also used to send the child to sleep before a needle is inserted. Children often require assistance in maintaining their airway, and therefore, a tube is inserted into the patient’s throat to aid breathing.  During the procedure, your child will not be conscious or responsive. Afterwards, your child will be drowsy and will need your close attention until they recover.

A thorough review of the medical history of the child with the parents must be completed prior to IV sedation.

  Schedule an appointment today 831-424-7393