Nitrous Oxide Conscious Sedation
We know that visiting the dentist can be scary for young children, and we work hard to make sure every child feels comfortable. Sedation dentistry can help keep a young child calm during necessary dental treatment, and one of the most common methods used is nitrous oxide conscious sedation.
Most people will know nitrous oxide as laughing gas and it is extremely safe and effective at helping to treat anxious patients so they are able to relax during dental procedures. Nitrous oxide is a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen, and our pediatric dentist administers the gas through a small, unobtrusive mask that fits comfortably over your child’s nose.
Your child will still be awake and fully alert during treatment and will be able to talk to our dental team. The nitrous oxide takes effect very quickly, but once the gas is turned off it is soon eliminated from the body. The effects of laughing gas wear off almost immediately and there are very few side effects, although your child may feel slightly nauseous. This technique of conscious sedation is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as being very safe and effective.
Precautions to take before having treatment with laughing gas include the following:
- Make sure your child only has a light meal or snack prior to treatment with nitrous oxide, as a heavy meal could increase the chances of them feeling nauseous.
- If there have been any changes to your child’s medical condition or general health then please let us know prior to treatment.
- We will also need to know if your child has any respiratory conditions that could make breathing through the nose more difficult. This is because it may make nitrous oxide less effective.
- If your child is currently taking any medications then please let us know before treatment begins.