Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.

Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require sedation.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your pediatric dentist about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your pediatric dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.

Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their pediatric dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your pediatric dentist will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.

Laser Assisted Dentistry

Doctors have used lasers for years to provide better care for their patients – in LASIK vision correction, for removing skin blemishes, and in all kinds of surgery. Now, at Coastal Maine Pediatric Dentistry, you can benefit from advanced laser technology for your child's dental care, with Waterlase Dentistry.

With the Waterlase Dental Laser we can save time and drastically reduce the need for shots related to your child's dentistry compared to a traditional dental drill.  We can often complete your child's necessary treatment in fewer visits.  Many procedures, including most children’s cavity preparations, do not require shots.  Emily Scholl, D.M.D. has established the Maine Center for Laser Assisted Dentistry to take full advantage of the benefits of this exciting new technology.  Please see the attached FAQ document or contact our office with any questions.

Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates

Our office works in partnership with Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates (PDAA) to provide in office anesthesia services for your child.  We recommend this for various reasons including young children, children with extensive decay requiring several in-office appointments and children without the ability to cooperate or communicate.  With this treatment option your child receives their dental care here in our office in familiar surroundings.  PDAA's anesthesiologists are medical doctors who have completed four years of medical school, and four more years of hospital training to specialize in Anesthesiology.  Additionally they have received specialized training in Pediatric anesthesia and have many years of experience in caring for the youngest and most challenging patients at top pediatric hospitals.  PDAA adheres to all the same safety policies, procedures, and standards, as hospitals and surgery centers.  They recreate that same environment in our dental office for your child's comfort and convenience.

General Anesthesia

We also have the option of providing dental services in a hospital setting.  Depending on your child's health needs and your insurance coverage this may be the best option for your child.  General Anesthesia is an induced state of unconsciousness.  In practical terms, the patient is asleep and unable to responds to touch, voices or painful stimuli.  We recommend this for various reasons including young children, children with extensive decay requiring several in-office appointments and children without the ability to cooperate or communicate.  Highly qualified anesthesiologists and registered nurse anesthetists provide general anesthesia in a hospital setting.  Dr. Scholl will provide a cleaning, x-rays, and all treatment necessary in one visit under general anesthesia.  Parents should feel free to talk openly about this treatment option with Dr. Scholl. 


84 Baribeau Dr. • Brunswick, ME 04011 • phone (207) 607-4197 •