Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Pediatric dentists know that all children are not all alike! Every service is tailored to your child as an individual. Sometimes, however, a child feels anxious during treatment. Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe, effective technique to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit.
Nitrous oxide is very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is non-addictive. It is mild, easily taken, and then quickly eliminated by the body. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. Our staff will give you any specific instructions concerning eating or any other specifics concerning the visit. Please inform our staff about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen. Also inform us if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is not effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety; nasal congestion, extensive treatment needs, or discomfort wearing a nasal masks. Our doctors have comprehensive specialty training and can offer other sedation methods that may be right for your child.
Pediatric dentists recognize that there exists a patient population for whom routine dental care using non-pharmacologic behavior management techniques or nitrous oxide alone are inadequate due to their need for extensive treatment, acute situational anxiety, uncooperative age-appropriate behavior, immature cognitive functioning, disabilities or medical conditions.
In these situations, our doctors and staff will discuss with you the option of sedation dentistry.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Our doctors may recommend Oral Conscious Sedation. Often referred to as a “drink,” oral conscious sedation is a drink that your child will take in our office prior to their dental treatment. This technique is intended to induce a cooperative, yet conscious state in an otherwise uncooperative child. The medication regiment will be custom tailored to your child’s specific age, weight, and dental needs.
The goals of a sedation are
- provide the most comfortable, efficient, and high-quality service for the patient
- to control inappropriate behavior on the part of the patient that interferes with such provision of care
- to thus produce in the patient a positive psychological attitude toward future care
- to promote patient welfare and safety. For many children, oral conscious sedation is a pleasant and positive experience
For a small percent of patients, oral conscious sedation may be ineffective due to their extensive dental needs and/or inadequate response to oral sedative medications. Under these circumstances, a deeper sedation such as IV Sedation or General Anesthesia may be recommended.
For some patients with complex medical conditions, extensive dental needs or failed oral conscious sedation, it may be necessary, based on the recommendation of your child’s physician, that their treatment would best be completed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia. In this case, the Doctors would refer you to the appropriate facility.
Please feel free to contact us if you need additional information or have questions regarding General Anesthesia procedures.