Nitrous Oxide

Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of Savannah may recognize that your child seems nervous before or during treatment. If this occurs, we may recommend nitrous oxide as a way to help make your child’s dental appointment more comfortable. Nitrous oxide is often called “laughing gas,” and is a blend of two gases-oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is inhaled through the nose, and after just a few minutes the child experiences a sense of calm relaxation. Throughout the sedation, your child will remain awake. At the end of the appointment, the nitrous leaves the body after a few minutes of breathing fresh air. Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen is perhaps the safest in-office sedative in dentistry.

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is not useful for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, or extensive treatment needs. For these patients, Dr. Cara can discuss the risk and benefits of other sedation methods that may be right for your child.

In Office Oral Sedation

Oral Sedation is a liquid medication (Versed) that should make your child feel sleepy within minutes to an hour after in office administration. It is possible for some children to experience the opposite effect and become excited and/or irritable after taking the medicine. Your child will not be asleep during the procedure. The benefit for some children is that oral sedation can cause an amnesia like effect. Your child will also have a local anesthetic delivered to the area being treated so they will have to be watched closely for 4 to 5 hours following the procedure to be sure they do not chew their lip, tongue, or cheek. Most children cry throughout the treatment and this should be anticipated. Protective stabilization is used to keep your child safe during the procedure. Children must be healthy and have had no food or drink after midnight the night before the appointment.


  • Child will have little to no memory of the appointment
  • Lessens the number of appointments the child will need to complete treatment


  • Child may be combative and may yell during treatment
  • It is generally more expensive than a nitrous appointment as most insurance companies will not cover sedation
  • Patient is numb and will need to be closely watched following the procedure

In Office IV Sedation

During IV Sedation medicine delivered through an intravenous injection by a Board Certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist while Dr. Cara preforms all necessary dental treatment in this one visit. There is generally no local anesthesia required, so there is no concern regarding your child chewing their lip or cheek following the appointment. We are able to take any necessary x-rays if we have been unable to get them in the past due to age or cooperation. This may result in a change in the original treatment plan given at the child’s examination visit, but can benefit the child by reducing the need for additional future procedures. The child is given a pre-medication while sitting on his/her parent’s lap, once it takes effect, the child is moved to the dental operatory. After treatment is completed, the child wakes up with a nurse and parent in the room. They have no memory of the treatment.

For information about Dr. Dennis Stone of Pediatric Dental Anesthesiology Associates (PDAA) please vist: