Nitrous Oxide Sedation at Pediatric Dental Office
Nitrous Oxide, or better known as laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation for children who visit the pediatric dentist and may be overly nervous or anxious about their scheduled treatments. Nitrous Oxide helps to ease patient’s fears so as to help them relax during their visit, and to receive dental treatment in a comfortable and safe manner. Typically delivered through a mask over the nose, nitrous oxide is mixed directly with oxygen and delivered as the patient breathes in and out regularly. The patient is usually asked to breath normally through the nose, and as the gas begins to take effect, the child will become more relaxed and less nervous.
Nitrous Oxide is 100% safe to use during treatment and is eliminated from the body quickly after the gas is turned off. The child will remain awake during the entire procedure and will be able to interact and communicate with the pediatric dentist. After the procedure(s) are over, the nitrous oxide gas will be turned off and typically our Dr. Ahn will continue to deliver oxygen for a few minutes to ensure that all gas is flushed from the system.
Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and actually enhances communication between your child and our Dr. Ahn during dental procedures. Additionally it reduces the gag reflex which can interfere with effective dental treatment. Nitrous oxide blends two gases oxygen and nitrous oxide and is administered by a fitted mask placed over your child’s nose. Your child then breathes normally, they become very relaxed in a matter of minutes and once Nitrous is stopped your child will be given oxygen for 3 to 5 minutes. There are no lingering effects.
While breathing in the Nitrous oxide your child will smell a faint sweet aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it may produce a feeling of giddiness or euphoria, it is often called “laughing gas”. Children sometimes report dreaming and their arms and legs may feel “tingly”. It raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. If your child is worried by the sights sounds or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of Nitrous Oxide.
Nitrous Oxide is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated, having a rapid onset, and is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious keeps all natural reflexes when breathing the gases. He or she will be capable of responding to a question or request. You should inform our office regarding any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child.
Children are of course not all alike all of our Dental Services are tailored specifically to your child. In a very small percentage of children Nitrous oxide may not be effective, especially those children who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. We will review your child’s medical history, level of anxiety, and treatment needs and inform you if nitrous oxide is recommended for your child.
If your child is opposed to wearing a mask, or if you child has a stuffy nose during the day of the visit, then nitrous oxide may not be the best option for sedation. Dr. Ahn will then be able to consult with you as to what the best alternative method may be to considered