What is commonly known as laughing gas is actually nitrous oxide/oxygen. Most children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office. Sometimes however, a child may feel anxious before or during treatment. Nitrous is a mild gas, which is administered through a small mask placed on child’s nose. It is used to relax children during some dental treatments. Not only is the gas non-additive, but it is also quickly eliminated from the body with normal breathing. Your child remains fully conscious while under the gas. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, acknowledge that process of using nitrous oxide/oxygen is a very safe effective way of treating some children’s dental needs.
Prior to your appointment:
- Inform our staff of any changes to your child’s health or any and all medications he will be taking on the day of his procedure
- Tell us if your child has any prior or current respiratory issues
To reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with some dental treatments, conscious sedation is an option. Under conscious sedation, the child is given medication orally. While your child could possible fall asleep, they will never lose consciousness. Conscious sedation works best for 3-5 year old children and is usually chosen when treatment may take more than one appointment.
Hospital General Anesthesia
Some children will not tolerate treatment using traditional methods, such as sedation or nitrous oxide. The best option for this type of patient is general anesthesia. This would be performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. Your child would be completely asleep, just like they would be in other childhood procedures such as removing tonsils or implanting ear tubes. Several dental needs can be completed in one visit with general anesthesia.