I.V. Sedation for Filling Cavities on 4 Year Old

Updated on September 29, 2010
L.S. asks from Wylie, TX
13 answers

My son has a few cavities and I'm just wondering about the I.V. sedation at the dentist's office. Has anyone used this procedure? If so, how did it work out? I'm very nervous about having him put to sleep, but I'm just as nervous about having to take him to the dentist 4 different times to get the 4 cavities filled. This is so frustrating. I thought I was taking such good care of his teeth, and now this. We brush twice a day and sometimes 3 times. Input please.

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answers from Dallas on


I would use that as a last resort. My 10 year old daughter recently had 4 fillings done. They just gave her a little of the "Gas" and she did great. I didn't even want them to use the gas at first because I just don't like any type of that kind of thing, but she came out smiling and watched an entire movie while they worked on her!! We use Dr. Duffy in Flower Mound. Every child is different, but most importantly don't let him know that you are nervous. Keep smiling!

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answers from Dallas on

My 4 year old just got 2 crowns at Baylor Dental School. He only has a very small amount of valium and laughing gas and did great!! He was wide awake and trying to talk to the dentist the whole time.



answers from Provo on

Cavaties on a four year old, you should be ashamed of yourself as a parent to even allow your childs teeth to get in this state.

But I guess you are American and given that the majority of Americans are overweight because of the dietry habits perhaps you should have kept a better eye on what your child eats.

No doubt too much "Soda" and "Candy".

My Child is almost 7, doen't drink soda or eat candy except the odd bit of chocolate, brushes his teeth twice a day and has never had a cavity.

It disgusting you have allowed your childs teeth to get in this state.



answers from Dallas on

We had to do this with our son last year. He was almost 6 at the time. It was the only way because he would scream every time they tried to give him the shot, and the laughing gas didn't help.
They gave him a little shot first (and it kind of dazed him - that was a little scary) and then they hooked him up to an IV. Afterward, the anesthesia made him dizzy for a short time and he cried during that time. It was worth it, though, to get it over with because his tooth had been hurting him.
So don't worry! If you have to go this route like we did, it is a relief to have it fixed, and it wasn't really that big of a deal.



answers from Dallas on

We just had 3 cavities filled in my 5 1/2 year old son's mouth. Initially I wanted IV sedation because he's terrified of needles/doctors/dentists, but the dentist didn't recommend it.

They used nitrous oxide, talked to him throughout, and he did AWESOME!!!

My dentist is Dr. John Gober, Healthy Smiles for Kids in Colleyville. Dr. Gober didn't do the fillings, his associate did, but they were both fantastic. She used kid-friendly terms for everything; the drill was a sugar-bug eater, the novacaine was tooth sleeping gel, etc etc. She hid the needle before she gave him the shot, he never even knew he got one, still doesn't! I am so glad we chose not to do sedation, he ended up very proud of himself and loved going to the dentist. I didn't think having fillings could be a positive experience, but he loved it!



answers from Dallas on

I have woked for a childrens DDS for 16 years. If he is having I.V. sedation everything should be done in one visit. We use Dr. Brian Henderson for our I.V. sedation patients. Let me know if I can answer any ?? for you. You can email me [email protected]____.com

I just realized you were debating I.V. vs multiple visits. If your son is cooperitive I would let them do it in several visits. It is better not to numb both sides at one time just in case they bite there lip or tongue. We usually do one side at a time. It is much better not to inform them of injections either. We use an oral sedation and laughing gas so they are a little sleepy and the mask hides the injection.They never even know they got a shot.



answers from Dallas on

My son had to be put to sleep in October of last year for some dental work. He flipped out when we would walk in the door, so it was for his safety as well as the dentist.
Do use Dr. Brian Henderson...he was wonderful. They will give a shot in the waiting room to relax them and then you can carry them to the room and let the doctors do their job.
If you have any more questions feel free to call me.....
I also wanted to add....after reading some of the other commets...."DO" make sure you are using a pedi. dentist. If you don't have one I recommend Dr. Clapp in Highland Village.




answers from Dallas on

Well, you've gotten lots of viewpoints and recommendations. As others mention, it depends upon the child and his individual reaction to dental work as to whether it's better to do it all at once or separate visits. Maybe they can do two at a time. My youngest son has had lots of dental work and surgeries and did fine with the sedation.

I do have a few related recommendations/suggestions. I would make sure they don't use the amalgam (aka silver) fillings as those contain mercury and can be toxic. Unfortunately, I did not know this at the time (and believed the ADA partyline that they were safe - they are not and that mercury leaches over time). My youngest son now has toxic levels of mercury that we are slowly detoxing. The problem is that some people just don't detoxify as easily/readily as others, thus some folks are more impacted. So, I would ask for composite (white)fillings - they cost more, but they are far safer.

As far as why so many cavities, for my kids the issue was that they did not have enamel on their baby teeth. The dentist tried to tell me that was because I had had an infection or took antibiotics while pregnant with them. Neither was true. I didn't learn until my boys were 8 and 11 that I had celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley and oats) that is genetic). Due to that disease, I had malaborption of nutrients, thus the fetuses didn't get the proper nutrients to build the enamel on the baby teeth (those teeth are formed while the baby is a fetus). So, I would ask the dentist if the enamel is the issue for your son and if so have yourself screened for celiac. Since it is genetic, if you have it (or the genes), then your children should also be screened.

Be well,
M. B.



answers from Dallas on

My daughter has never had anesthesia for her dental visits to cure cavities. Personally I'm a nervous wreck when it comes to anesthesia and I would do it the old fashion way, but it's a matter of personal opinion. Also there are unnecessary risks that your son would have to go through if he goes under.
If you decide to go ahead and put him under I would follow the other moms suggestions and make sure to have it done with a pediatric dentist.
Good luck in whatever you decide, and happy recovery to your son.



answers from Dallas on

I would make sure you're going to a pediatric dentist... like Dental Care 4 Kids in Flower Mound.

Honestly, I don't think it should hurt too much to have them done the regular way, but if you're nervous that will make him nervous and that would be bad.

Juice, I hear, is terrible for kids teeth. One of mine had lots of cavaities (but we always went the usual route for fillings) and the other daughter did not. I think the difference was one drank water almost always, and the other liked juice and soda. I know, soda is awful, but when you have 3 little kids sometimes it's hard to not give in to keep one of them quiet.

The only time my daughter was put to sleep was when she had 5 teeth pulled (her mouth is so tiny) and she was 9 then.

The teeth in a 4 1/2 year old aren't permanent.... so it should hurt much to fill a cavity, but make sure you have the right dentist first. I'd never use a regular dentist for kids under 12.



answers from Dallas on

My son is the same age and had a cavity filled along with all of his molars sealed. They gave him valuum then numbed him up with the shots. He did great. If you are using a regular dentist you may want to check with a pediadontist, they offer different options.



answers from Dallas on

I'm STILL trying to deal with this anesthesia issue for children's dental work! I think it is reprehensible. I would be willing to take my child twelve times for four cavities over having them put to sleep for the dentist's convenience. Of course it means big bucks for the anesthesiologist too. Nice little system they've worked out for themselves. Meanwhile you've put your child's life in danger unnecessarily.
Good Luck,
C. S.



answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,

Our children, ages 3 and 4 at the time, both needed many fillings and crowns. We took them to a pediatric dentist. We did the IV thing so they could get them all done at once.

We had no complications and it was great for them because they felt no pain (not even the shot to put the IV in) and got it all done at once.

You mentioned that your child was energetic. That was why our 4 yr. old was done this way. Our pedi dentist said at her age either way would work but because she was "hyper", he suggested we go that route. We have no regrets.

And we've had the same situation. We brush our kids' teeth 2x a day and they still continue to have cavities. I don't understand that. And mine are not allowed to have sugar very often. But I know some people are more prone for that than others.

Hope this helps.


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