Managing Pediatric Dental Emergencies with the Use of Oral Sedation

Table of Contents

When a young child visits us with untreated cavities that have evolved into painful abscesses, timely treatment is of the essence. However, not all children are comfortable with laughing gas, which is where the consideration of oral sedation becomes crucial. This approach ensures their comfort and cooperation during urgent dental procedures, providing a vital solution for treating the neglected cavities and resolving the painful abscess effectively.


Name: Master Jnani

Gender: Male

Age: 4 YEARS



Doctor: Dr. Debarchhana Jena

Case Introduction

Pain and trouble while eating are often the primary reasons parents bring their young children to a pediatric dental care center for their very first dental visit. This discomfort is mostly related to untreated cavities that have had time to progress. When cavities are not addressed, they can deepen, reaching the tooth’s nerve and causing issues like pus formation, as well as swelling in the gums, cheeks, and lips. In severe cases, the swelling can be so extensive that it makes something as simple as opening the child’s mouth a challenging task. This type of swelling outside the mouth (i.e., extraoral swelling) is a dental emergency. In this patient’s story, we’ll share the experience of a 4-year-old child who came to us seeking emergency dental care.

Chief Complaint

Meet Jnani, a charming 4-year-old boy who came to us with a substantial swelling in the entire left side of his face. According to his parents, the swelling had emerged just a day before, and the pain had intensified rapidly to the point where he was even reluctant to eat. Due to his young age and the severity of his pain, Jnani’s ability to cooperate during the examination was limited.

Diagnosis / Medical Assessment

After the initial examination, we performed an X-ray to assess the tooth’s condition. After completing the examination, Our chief Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Debarchhana then discussed with the parents the diagnosis of a dentoalveolar abscess and its underlying causes and a comprehensive treatment plan. Taking into consideration the child’s age and the clinical examination as well as X-ray findings, we decided to proceed with a pulpectomy, which is a root canal treatment tailored for milk teeth, rather than opting for extraction.


Recognizing Jnani’s limited ability to cooperate (due to swelling), we initiated the pulpectomy with the aid of laughing gas as a behavior guidance technique. Unfortunately, young Jnani wasn’t comfortable with the laughing gas mask, and cooperation remained a challenge. To ensure his comfort and the successful completion of the treatment, Dr. Debarchhana decided to use oral sedation to facilitate the completion of the pulpectomy and the placement of a crown on the affected tooth. Although Jnani’s parents were initially unfamiliar with the concept of oral sedation, Dr. Debarchhana took the time to explain its benefits and the necessity of its use in Jnani’s case. After understanding the reasons and advantages, they provided their consent to proceed with the treatment under oral sedation. 


After undergoing the pulpectomy treatment, Jnani experienced a significant improvement as he became pain-free and resumed eating more comfortably. Witnessing their child’s newfound happiness, the parents were not only happy but also motivated to continue prioritising his oral health. Subsequently, Jnani underwent another oral sedation session, during which he received treatment for a deep cavity and had a dental crown placed to prevent a recurrence of the conditions he had previously gone through.


To ensure the delivery of high-quality dental care for children, minimizing body movement and maximizing cooperation becomes an essential prerequisite and Oral Sedation has helped us to achieve this. At Childhood Smiles, we recognize and celebrate the unique qualities of every child, understanding that their levels of comprehension and cooperation can differ significantly. Our primary goal is to offer pain-free and anxiety-free dental experiences for both the child and their parents. 


Upon the successful completion of Jnani’s treatment, his parents expressed their immense satisfaction and gratitude. They acknowledged that, without the assistance of oral sedation, achieving such a seamless and comfortable procedure would not have been possible.

The Treatment Under Oral Sedation

Our decision to recommend treatment under oral sedation was primarily driven by our commitment to the child’s comfort and well-being. The foremost reason for this choice was that the child, Jnani, had displayed discomfort with the use of laughing gas. At our dental care center, we prioritize ensuring that children are in a comfortable and relaxed state during their treatment. We understand that any uneasiness or discomfort can adversely impact the child’s experience and cooperation. Therefore, we made the prudent decision to switch to oral sedation, which would provide Jnani with a more comfortable and stress-free environment, allowing us to proceed with the necessary dental care while keeping his well-being as our top priority. 

The usage of oral sedation, particularly for young patients, plays a pivotal role in minimizing unintentional body movements, inducing a calming and drowsy effect in the child. This, in turn, empowers the treating pediatric dentist to carry out procedures more effectively and deliver high-quality care.


Some other benefit are

 Reducing Stress: Dental procedures can be stressful, and stress can negatively impact the child’s experience and the quality of care. Oral sedation helps in reducing stress and promoting a more positive encounter.

 Minimizing Trauma: By using oral sedation, the aim is to minimize any potential emotional or psychological trauma associated with dental treatment, ensuring that children develop a positive attitude towards oral health.

 Effective Treatment: Children who are calmer and less anxious tend to be more cooperative, allowing for more effective and efficient dental treatments. This ensures that the required procedures are completed with the best possible outcomes and in the shortest time.

Improved Safety: Oral sedation is a safe and carefully administered technique that provides a controlled and predictable level of sedation, minimising risks associated with extreme anxiety or uncooperative behaviour during dental treatment.

 Positive Dental Experience: Ultimately, the goal is to create a positive and comfortable dental experience for the child. This encourages regular dental check-ups, leading to better oral health throughout their life.


Oral sedation had a profoundly positive impact, helping Jnani achieve a state of relaxation and calmness during the treatment. This not only eased the child’s experience but also greatly facilitated the dental treatment process, benefitting both the treating doctor and the parents. The overall result was a smooth and successful completion of the required dental care.

After Care

We strongly advise parents not to overlook any minor problems in their child’s oral health, whether it’s the appearance of black spots, chalky white areas on teeth, swelling, pain, sensitivity, or any discomfort. The child often has to bear unnecessary pain and discomfort before reaching the paediatric dentist. To mitigate this, we also provide guidance to parents on maintaining proper oral hygiene and caring for their child’s baby teeth.

Final Thought / Take Away

We kindly request two important favors from parents:

 Please never underestimate the importance of baby teeth and any changes in your child’s mouth.

 Opt for preventive treatments whenever possible.

And last but not least, don’t forget to “LIFT THE LIP”—a simple yet crucial action to ensure your child’s oral health.

Why consider Childhood Smiles for your child's oral care?

There are several reasons to consider the paediatric dental care with us for your child:

  Qualified professionals:  Our pediatric dentist and orthodontists are highly trained and experienced in working with children. They have the knowledge and expertise to design a customized and tailor made treatment plan that meets your child’s unique needs. Dr Debarchhana Jena who is our chief pediatric dentist is certified for taking care of oral health needs of children with special health conditions.

Individualized approach:  We take a personalized approach to cater oral care, tailoring our treatment plans to each individual child. This ensures that your child receives the right level of support and guidance to achieve their goals.

 Positive and encouraging environment: We create a positive and supportive environment for your child. Our therapists/doctors/ nurses/office staff are patient, compassionate, and skilled at working with children with special health care needs who may be experiencing anxiety or other challenges.

 Comprehensive oral care for all your child’s needs: Childhood Smiles is an exclusive paediatric oral care centre in Bangalore. We offer a complete range of treatments that your child would need to maintain an excellent oral health and overall well-being. Our team of doctors/dentists are experienced in handling complex cases of oral problems in children with several medical conditions and difficulties.

   Sensory Adapted Dental Clinic Model: Childhood smiles is designed with a concept of sensory adaptation. It is specially designed to take care of the anxiety and difficulty your little one can face during a normal dental visit. From calm colourful hand painted walls to the sensory toys, audio visual distraction, dim lighting, sensory surfaces, theme based operatories every single aspect at the centre fulfils the need  of a sensory adapted Dental Clinic Model.

  Availability of Laughing Gas and Other Sedation Facility: Being an exclusive centre for pediatric dental care ,Childhood smiles is well equipped to handle all types of dental rehabilitation cases. Whether there is a need for laughing gas, oral sedation, IV sedation or facilities for general anaesthesia our pediatric dental team, pediatric anesthesiologist team and equipment facility is well prepared at all times.

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