Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry refers to the use of medications and controlled monitoring during dental treatment. Our office pffers a wide range of options from nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” conscious sedation, and deep sedation in office with our Board Certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist. Our doctors also have privileges at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.


Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia, or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. This is a team approach in our office as we have multiple team members dedicated to your child’s safety and monitoring. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Our doctors will evaluate your child’s medical health, dental needs, and behavior when deciding which approach will be best for your child.


Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and it has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their pediatric dentist during their visit. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Our team will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.


Conscious sedation is an option for children who are older (three years and above). This method may be indicated for children who have a high level of anxiety, those who are young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative way, or those requiring extensive dental treatment. Conscious sedation is a highly effective method that can be administered in oral form.


Deep sedation is provided via IV sedation with our Board Certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist. We work closely with her team to provide the safest in-office anesthesia possible. Your child is asleep for this visit and goes home within hours.


General anesthesia is performed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Our doctors will accompany your child to the operating room for treatment. This is reserved for patients that are too young for anesthesia in office, are too medically compromised for treatment in office or at the request of the parent. We encourage you to discuss your child’s needs with Dr. Trisha.

Trisha R. McNamara DDS

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

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