Sedation and Anesthesia Care

For certain procedures, sedation or anesthesia may make the process easier. The use of these medications makes the patient more relaxed and comfortable, and a relaxed patient means easier treatment.Sedation or anesthesia is suggested for more extensive procedures, anxious children, or children with individualized needs.

How to Prepare for Sedative and Anesthetic Treatments from Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Near Greenville, North Carolina

Your child can pick up on your emotions so knowing what to expect can help both of you rest confidently. Here is some more information about the treatments we use and what you can expect.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide relaxes your child without putting them to sleep. Nitrous oxide is recognized as a safe, non-addictive treatment, and works itself out of the body quickly.

How to prepare:

  • Before the procedure warn the dentist of any respiratory issues your child is having.
  • Let the dentist know about any changes in health or medication use.


Sedated patients usually are given a “sleepy drink” or oral medication that makes them drowsy and easier to work on, although they will remain conscious during the procedure.

Unfortunately, Wilson Pediatric Dentistry does not provide conscious or oral sedation services.  Our team is very experienced at treating children of all ages without the use of drugs.  Come in for a consultation and Dr. Elmore can explain your options to you.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia puts your child in a controlled state of unconsciousness, making them totally unresponsive. This option is most often used in cases where conscious sedation would not work. Since it comes with minimal risks, the team only suggests using general anesthesia in instances where not using it would prove harmful for your son or daughter.

How to Prepare:

  • Talk to your child about the procedure, and let them know you’ll be close the entire time.
  • A physical evaluation will be conducted before the anesthetic is applied.
  • As with sedation, warn your dentist of any health changes, drugs being used, or medical issues.
  • Your child should not consume food the day of the procedure. They can only have clear liquids in the 6 hours before the treatment.
  • A parent or guardian must be present at all times.

After the Treatment

  • Stay at the dentist’s office until the effects are minimal.
  • For the next few hours, keep a watchful eye over your drowsy child.
  • It is okay to let your child sleep but wake them periodically for water.
  • You will be given an emergency number to call if you notice complications.

To learn more about what to expect from sedation or anesthesia, contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300.