Caring for very young or anxious children

Children differ physically and emotionally from adults and therefore their treatment needs to be tailored to their age, personality, temperament, cooperation levels, gag reflex, extent of treatment need and the type of treatment option required for durability.

About inhalation sedation
Inhalation sedation is the safest sedation method available for the management of anxiety in children. It uses a sweet-smelling gas called nitrous oxide that is mixed with oxygen. You may be aware of a slightly stronger version of this drug called Entonox™, which is sometimes given to mum’s on the labour ward. The drug is administered via a mask worn on the nose. The effects only last as long as the child is breathing it in. It works best for those children who are anxious but able to communicate and willing to attempt to have their treatment done in the dental chair. Children remain awake and can talk during the procedure. In suitable children, it will help them to relax and feel calm. The drug has an amnaesiac quality, and it also reduces sensitivity to pain.

There are some children who are not suitable for this type of sedation and these include:

  • Mouth breathers
  • Very young children
  • Children who find it hard to communicate
  • Children with large tonsils and adenoids
  • Children who need a lot of visits for treatment
  • Children who refuse treatment

Going to sleep for dental treatment
Paediatric dentists help parents and their children find the best way to have dental treatment carried out in a manner which the child finds acceptable. We strive to make children happy about coming to the dentist. We want them to grow into adults who feel good about their dental visits and value their oral health. Although lots of children have treatment in the dental chair, some children find the process of sitting and keeping their mouth open overwhelming and this is when “going to sleep” for treatment is considered. It means going to the Beacon Hospital, Sandyford for a day and being put under a general anaesthetic by a Consultant Anaesthetist. All necessary treatment is done by Dr Daly when the child is asleep. It is a safe and effective way of delivering high quality dental care to young or anxious children.

General anaesthetic is not something we resort to lightly and we help parents to carefully balance the following factors in deciding if it is appropriate for their child:

  • The child’s likelihood of coping with the proposed treatment
  • The presence of infection and pain
  • Responses to similar procedures
  • The complexity of treatment needed
  • The child’s general health

Please Contact Us for more details.

Northern Cross Dentistry for Children


Unit 9, Block 9, Burnell Court, Northern Cross, Dublin 17 H213