Nitrous Oxide Sedation
At Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry, the oral health of your child is one of our top priorities. So, too, is ensuring the safety and comfort of your child. We understand that the dentist can be scary for some children. We have several techniques designed to ease their nerves, and make them more comfortable. We speak to them calmly, and avoid using words that can trigger fear. We show them the tools that we use and demonstrate what we are going to do before we do it. Sometimes, though, some children are still nervous, and therefore cannot sit still. If this is the case, we may recommend sedation. One of our sedation options is nitrous oxide.
What Is Sedation?
Some children, no matter how well prepared they are for the dentist, are still anxious. Nerves can make their experience at the dentist’s office a negative one. Our goal is to provide positive experiences for your child, so that they are happy to come see us, not scared. Sedation is a way of helping your child to feel relaxed and calm during their dental procedure, whether it’s a simple cleaning and exam, getting a cavity filled or something else.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a type of minimal conscious sedation. Nitrous is a colorless gas that is well known for its ability to take the edge off, helping your child to become more relaxed in just a matter of moments. It raises your child’s pain threshold and reduces their gag reflex (which can sometimes interfere with treatment). It can also make the time feel like it is going by faster. Some children report having a “tingly” feeling in their arms and/or legs. Nitrous oxide is ideal for children who have only a small amount of anxiety, or who are made nervous by the sights and sounds of our office.
How It Works
Nitrous oxide is delivered through a mask, which is placed over your child’s nose. The gas is mixed with oxygen. It goes to work rather quickly. As your child breathes the nitrous oxide in, they begin to feel calmer and more relaxed. Once your child’s procedure is over, we turn off the nitrous, but leave the oxygen on for just a few moments. This helps to ensure all of the nitrous is out of their system. Just as quickly as it took effect, it wears off, and your child is back to normal.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Children?
Nitrous oxide is the safest sedative in the dental field. It goes to work quickly, is well tolerated, and is quickly reversed. It can be adjusted as needed. It is also non-allergenic. There are no lingering side effects once the sedative has worn off. And, your child is fully conscious throughout their procedure, able to respond to any questions or requests that we may have.
With nitrous oxide, we can safely perform your child’s dental procedures, whether it’s a cleaning and exam or filling a cavity, safely, while your child remains completely calm and comfortable. For more information, and to find out if nitrous oxide is right for your child, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today!