14 answers

Versed Med for Dental Work

Hi, my 2 yr old son's pedi dentist is recommending he be sedated for 1.5 hours to put a crown on his 2 top front teeth because my son does not want to open his mouth. I have read another mom's posting on sedation, and appreciate the feedback. Howeverm I am still a little worried about putting him to sleep since he will need an IV and it seems really invasive, and not to mention how expensive it is! This same doctor does not recommend other "awake" drugs b/c he thinks kids will get traumatized and might not cooperate as well. A friend told me about a drowsy drug call Versed that her son used to fill his cavaties. He was awake and crying during the dental work but was drowsy but he must not have remembered since he said he liked it there. Has anyone's child used this med for dental work and can share some insight, pros and cons? Thank you so much!

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Versed doesn't actually put you to sleep, it just makes you not remember. It is harmless but might not work if he is adamant about not getting his teeth looked at since he will still have some level of consciousness.

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As a pediatric nurse the results with Versed are a mixed bag and unpredictable. Go with the dentists recomendations.

1 mom found this helpful

When my son was 2 I took him to a pediatric dentist because he had problems and no enamel on his teeth. The dentist there was pushy and rude and wound of tramatizing my son for just a small visit. I found another dentist that was better but the damage was already done and even at 9 now he is better but still extremely frightened. He wound up having to have three baby root canals and two teeth pulled. They recomended that I have him sedated. I was worried but I researched and used a pediatric anethisologist for the job. He was very nice and stayed with my son to monitor him for the two and a half hours it took. He has had a few cavaties since then and we had to do oral sedation which is the versed. My son actually needed a cocktail with something else to keep him woozy enough and the versed is great for forgetting. That is actually one of the purposes of using that drug. Do be aware that every child reacts differently to meds and it depends on your son and your level of calmness. My son does not do well when he comes out of it. He is very independent and cries and what not because he is so woozy he can't walk. But I am happpy to say he has been cavaty free for two and a half years now and does great with exams by himself. Good luck! I am sure it will all work out great for you.

Hello. My son has had to have two IV sedations to have teeth pulled. I would go for the Versed. It doesn't taste the greatest but it makes them very sleepy. My son has had versed several times for medical procedures. But if they have to do IV sedation, there is a spray they can put on the site before the insert the needle to numb it. They have done this for my son as well. Putting them under is never easy. But do ask them for Versed. Usually Versed puts them to sleep, they do not stay awake or makes them drowsy. It has always put my son fully to sleep. Best of luck.

L. Renwick

Hi K.,
Do the IV sedation as your pediatric dentist recommends. It will make the procedure easier and quicker with better results. I have worked for dentists who try Versed with mixed results. The one instance that has stayed with me is of a 3-4 yr old boy who came in totally out of it, but once we started working on him he woke up and had to be strapped to a papoose board. Not only was the outcome of his dental work less than ideal, he remembered everything and refused to even come in the door of the office. In my opinion, it isn't worth the chance of a very traumatic experience that could cause permanent fear of the dentist. As to having them extracted or leaving the decay, those "baby" teeth serve a VERY important purpose. If the decay is SO severe it requires crowns, I suggest re-evaluating his diet and oral hygiene so you don't have this happen again. If he is still on a bottle, wean him ASAP. Don't give him milk at bedtime and make sure you brush his teeth right before bed for at least 1-2 minutes, even if it means holding him down. NEVER put anything in your mouth that will go into his mouth. I find it very sad that in this day and age, with everything we know about preventive dentistry and oral hygiene, that Early Childhood Caries is on the rise in the United States. Sorry if this sounds preachy, but it is our responsibility as parents to take care of our children and this includes their teeth.

PS check out my profile to see my experience in the area. The main reason adults are afraid of the dentist is because of a bad experience as a child. In several practices, it was my job to make the childrens' first visit as fun and positive as possible, setting them up for positive visits in the future. Versed may help them forget much of the procedure but doesn't always make it easier to work on them. Trying to work on a toddler while they are moving and crying can be a little dangerous. I remember a child who ended up getting his tongue cut with the drill because he wouldn't hold still. Very painful and bloody!

They had to use versed on my daughter at 3yrs to removed a deep splinter from her foot. I didn't really want to do it but I also didn't want her to be scared of the experience so I opted for the sedation. They administer it orally and they are fully awake they just won't remember anything. The biggest downfall is when the drug is wearing off kids have a tendency to cry alot and nothing seem to help. It also makes them very sleepy. (maybe not such a bad thing). It's a tough choice. I can say that If I had to do it again I would go with the versed. It has less side effects and not quite as scary. Putting an IV into a small child is frightening to them.
Best of luck to you

I know that kids respond differently to meds than adults do, but I thought I would add my experience in case it helps. A few years ago, I had to have a scope put down my throat so the docs could look in my stomach. The idea of this had me in a total panic (and I am prone to phobias and panic attacks). I was given versed (nothing to do with my fear, just standard procedure for this), and I was totally fine. Versed is supposed to cause an amnesia-like effect where you don't remember anything. However, I remember the whole thing. I remember the spacer in my mouth moving and the tube gagging me. Usually, something like that would completely freak me out. With Versed, I remember calmly thinking, "Gee, I hope someone notices that I'm gagging," and then, when a nurse fixed the spacer and I stopped gagging, "That nurse is so nice!!!" I didn't even move. Despite my tendency to develop phobias (and this procedure touched on one I already have), I was so calm during all of this that I have no fear whatsoever of getting this procedure again. Versed is not "hardcore" anesthesia (though all anesthesia has risks), and the anesthesiologist can adjust the level given. To be on the safe side, I would make sure that a pediatric anesthesiologist is monitoring your son throughout the procedure.

I really can empathize with you. Have you tried a different Pedi dentist? I took my daughter to Little Fish Dental in Rocklin and they gave her a happy gas while they did her teeth. She also watched Disney movies on the ceiling, etc. I was amazed at how happy she was. Our regular dentist wasn't equipped with all the great stuff.
Good luck.

Hi K.-
I'm a pediatric RN, and we often use this drug in the hospital setting. One of the benefits is it causes the kids to not remember what has happened to them, along with being a mild sedative. That is probably why your friends son didn't remember the dental work that was performed on him.

I would just be sure that your dentist is familiar with administering sedatives before asking about this drug.
Hope this helps.

T. T

my Daughter who is six now has had both forms of sedation. With the puting to sleep one was alright. I didnt like the way she responded to it going to sleep and looking really lupy kind of scary and afterwards she got really sick.She also had alot of work to do about 7 caps to be put on all at once i also dont like how they cant eat before it. The awake sedation i think is better cause they talk to you and she did cry i think she was ok and she was fine when she was done already for the tresure box, toothbrush and stickers. She still doesnt like the dentist and i hate to take her. But im also the mom who crys when they get shots and when they go off for there first day of school. Im a sap. But i hope my story helps you make a dection.

My first question would be why does he need crowns on his teeth? When my son was three, he had a tricycle accident with a fence and chipped his two front teeth. Our options were to cap them (for cosmetic reasons) or remove them. We were told that the caps can have problems and would probably be replaced more than once. We choose to have the front two teeth pulled. Oh what a smile! When those permanent front teeth came in, and they will, he looked so different because we were so used to him not having those front teeth! Today he is 15 years old and has beautiful teeth and a beautiful smile. Without knowing why, something to think about.

Hi K.,
I know this is a decision you have to make for your own child as a mother. I'd just like to add my 2cents. I also am a nurse and have used Versed countless times on children for all sorts of procedures. With what I have seen and experienced, I would have no problem opting for Versed if you have a child who has a difficult time being calm for procedures. Actually, most adults hate going to the dentist, so imagine the fear a child would feel. Versed is wonderful in that it does cause that amnesiac effect. Your child still may moan every now and then or have some light hallucinogenic symptoms temporarily, but that is so much better than causing a lifelong fear of dental work because of the trauma of being completely awake for the entire procedure. As a mother, it may be hard to watch, but I guarantee it is so much easier on the child. They truly do not remember what happened, and even though they may cry and be a little clingy and confused after the Versed starts to wear off, it's nothing to worry about. They won't even remember that part of it, either. I am passionate about dental hygiene from a nurse's standpoint because it is the beginning of the digestive system. If a child's teeth are in bad shape, their nutrition naturally suffers because of the things they can and can't eat...so it affects the entire body. In the end, it is your choice, though. Ask lots of questions of your dentist. Also, ask if they use a medication called Ketamine. This, too, causes a sedated and amnesiac effect with some hallucinogenic side effects, but it is extremely effective and it wears off quickly. Good luck and God bless.


I have a 2 year old who needed dental work. I noticed that her cavities started forming at 15 months. I went to 2 different pediatric dentists who wanted to IV sedate her for 4-6 hours to get the work done. I finally found a dentist in Rocklin who would just numb her and we split up the visits. She went to her first cleaning at 2, and yes she cried but I was able to hold her and help keep her mouth open. It seemed like forever but it only took about 5-10 minutes. Her first cavitie was on her back molar and it took about an hour for the whole visit. They took her back numbed her, held her in between and she fell asleep towards the end. Her second visit they filled 2 cavities and it was the same. This time she started to cry a little when they took her back, but wen they were done she wanted to play. The last visit was a few weeks ago and they ended up capping 3 front teeth. It took a little longer but again she was fine when it ended. She hasn't been traumatized. They weren't sure if they were going to do the caps until they cleaned out the cavitie. If the cavitie isn't deep they can do a filling instead. It saved me alot of money without doing the IV sedation. The dentist is called Smile Island Dental, they also have an office in Citrus Heights. Their number is ###-###-####. I highly recommend them even if you have to drive a little out of your way.

N., mother of 4 (15,10,2,1)

Versed doesn't actually put you to sleep, it just makes you not remember. It is harmless but might not work if he is adamant about not getting his teeth looked at since he will still have some level of consciousness.

My son was sedated (yes very expensive and insurance didn't cover that part), but from my understanding of the other options - they are cheaper - but not all kids react the same. Some kids, instead of getting drowsy, may freak out. I personally didn't want to give my kid the liquid concoction. Either way, it was a difficult decision for me and while my child did not suffer in anyway, I had a hard time coping with seeing my son drugged (their is an initial shot that is done prior that makes them dopey to get the IV in for the sedation). He didn't experience pain, but I cried like a baby afer seeing him and his reaction. In the end, everything went very well and my son only remembered the quick shot he received. Good luck.

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