Iris Pediatric Dentistry - Denver

Sedation Dentistry for Kids in Denver

Iris Pediatric Dentistry offers sedation dentistry through a partnership with pediatric anesthesiologists at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
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The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry for Kids

Sedation dentistry can vary from medications given in the office to relax the patient to full general anesthesia at the Children’s hospital where a child is completely asleep for care.

Sedation with general anesthesia is utilized when a child is very young, fearful, or has many cavities in many teeth. This allows Dr. Murray to complete treatment carefully and safely, without the child having to tolerate many long visits.

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, Dr. Murray works with a pediatric anesthesia team with specific training on anesthesia in children. If you have questions about the anesthesia process or if you child would benefit from care with general anesthesia, Dr. Murray will happily answer any questions at your child’s dental exam after meeting your family and evaluating your child’s specific needs.

What is Dental Anxiety and How is it Treated?

Dental anxiety is an overwhelming sense of fear or dread when faced with the prospect of dental treatments. Dental anxiety in adults can result in avoiding dental care and difficulty tolerating treatments or cleanings. Often this can stem from previous difficult or negative experiences at the dentist.

Specialized Pediatric Training

Pediatric dentists are specialized providers that undergo an additional 2 years of training compared to family dentists or general dentists. During this training, pediatric dentists learn methods to reduce dental anxiety in children.

By modifying treatment to match children’s needs, Dr. Murray will make visits easier, quicker, and more positive for your child.

Other Methods for Treating Dental Anxiety in Kids

Sometimes kids can have anxiety even without previous dental experiences or for other reasons. For these children, Dr. Murray can explain options to treat any urgent concerns in a way that works for the family and the child, and then work with the family for customized desensitization plans to help children learn to become more comfortable brushing at home and treatment in the office over time.

What Happens During Sedation Dentistry?

If your child needs to be fully sedated during dental treatment, an experienced pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado administers the general anesthesia sedation.

Administering Anesthesia

Often the anesthesia process begins by having the child drink medication to help them relax.  Once calm, a pleasantly scented gas is administered until they are asleep. Kids often remember only drinking the medicine and then waking up to eat a popsicle after the procedure is complete!

Dental work

General anesthesia creates an almost immediate effect, and your child rests comfortably throughout their treatment. Once Dr. Murray completes the necessary dental work, the anesthesiologist ceases the flow of medication and the effects begin to wear away.


Kids will be a little confused or groggy as they come out of sedation. They should take it easy for the rest of the day, and drink plenty of fluids. Often, pain is managed with Tylenol or Ibuprofen for 1-2 days. More often than not, parents report their kids are back to playing like normal the very next day.

Cost of Sedation Dentistry for Kids in Denver

Sedation dentistry is charged by the hour and can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Level of sedation
  • Number of appointments required
  • How long the patient will be under anesthesia

A patient or parent can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $1000 for the first hour of sedation, and $150 to $250 every fifteen minutes after.

To get an accurate estimate of how much you may end up paying for your child’s sedation treatment, you’ll first need to bring your little one in for a consultation at our pediatric dental office in Denver.

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to schedule an initial consultation & exam.

Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Rest assured that we talk to each and every one of our patients to understand their medical history to decide if sedation dentistry is the right option for you.
Sedation will make you feel drowsy and relaxed pretty quickly. Some people report feeling a mild tingly sensation. You may also experience mild amnesia afterwards and may not remember anything from the procedure.
Most sedation dentistry options don’t actually involve patients being put to sleep. Rather sedation dentistry allows patients to feel extremely relaxed. You may not even remember any of the procedure once it’s over.
When sedation is involved we always stress the importance of having a friend or family member drive you home and keep you company. It’s important to let the sedation wear off completely and give your body a rest before returning to your regular routine.
If you’ve been sedated for your dental procedure we would advise you to take the day off to recover. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 24-hours before returning to your regular routine. The time it takes for any drowsiness to pass will depend on what kind of sedation you receive but may be somewhere between 2 to 8 hours.

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