Little Pearls Dentistry For Children

sedation banner - Little Pearls Dentistry For Children


While we make all efforts to avoid the need for sedation, we understand there are some children who need a little extra help achieving optimal dental health. Whether the child is pre-cooperative (too young to understand how to cooperate), has sensory challenges, or special health care needs, it is sometimes necessary to utilize sedation. This option allows for children to sleep throughout their appointment.

For the vast majority of children who would benefit from sedation we are able to accomplish the treatment in the office on an outpatient basis. We work with a fantastic anesthesiologist who closely monitors the child during the entire process.

Benefits of this option are that we are able to complete all treatment in one appointment, it helps lessen the chances for a child to develop fear of dental treatment, and we are able to complete ideal treatment. Attempting to provide treatment to a child who is not capable of cooperating fairly well without using sedation usually results in inferior quality treatment, whereas treatment under sedation usually results in treatment that is long lasting.

A lifetime of attractive, healthy smiles starts with great experiences at the dentist’s office in childhood. Routine hygiene visits to Little Pearls Dentistry for Children in Lansdowne, Virginia, ensure a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth remain healthy. Adults with aching and damaged teeth and gums may be so apprehensive about visiting the dentist that they avoid routine care at all costs. Fear is often rooted in negative childhood experiences.

As pediatric dentists, all we do is care for children’s mouths. We speak with children in a way that inspires trust and calm. We also have “helpers” in the form of sedation. Sedatives tailored to your child’s needs induce a state of relaxation. Depending on the type and dose of the sedative, your child may get drowsy or fall asleep during treatment. Regardless of the kind of sedative that is prescribed, your child’s health and safety are in exceptional hands. We’ve listed the options that are available at our office, starting with the lightest sedation:

  • Nitrous oxide – Also known as “laughing gas,” this calming combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen is delivered through a small, comfortable nasal mask. The gas works and can be adjusted quickly; your child will remain awake throughout treatment but calm. Oxygen has a neutralizing effect. So, it wears off quickly, and there isn’t lingering drowsiness afterward.
  • Oral conscious sedation – This term refers to a sedative medication that can be taken as a pill or in liquid form. The specific medication that is prescribed depends at least partly on your child’s medical history. We will provide you with detailed and clear instructions on when your child should take the medication before treatment. The “conscious” part refers to how children generally remain awake and able to respond to questions throughout the visit. There is little to no memory of the treatment. Although we do not perform oral conscious sedation in our office, we are able to refer you to trusted professionals outside of our office who are able to perform it.
  • Intravenous sedation – We also have the ability to offer IV sedation in office with a medical anesthesiologist. This option allows for children to sleep throughout their appointment. This can be a great option for children with special needs such as autism, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, severe gag reflex, and other conditions. It can also be the right choice for young “pre-cooperative” patients who have extensive needs.

Your child’s safety, comfort, and experience at our office is LPD’s priority. Call us at (571) 601-2080 to discuss the options for your child.