Do you have a child that suffers from significant anxiety before going to the dentist? If it is preventing your child from getting the dental care he or she needs, you may want to consider sedation dentistry. Don’t let the name scare you; your child will not be “sedated” in the sense that you may assume. The form of sedation dentistry used on children is Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas.” It is very commonly used by children in a dental setting. Sedation dentistry can create a calm and stress-free experience for your child while in the dental chair.
Is nitrous oxide safe for kids? Absolutely. This is a primary concern for many parents. Nitrous oxide is actually one of the safest and mildest sedatives used in dentistry. It is non-allergenic and is well tolerated in most children. Nitrous oxide has a rapid onset, but it can be reversed or adjusted at any time. Your child will remain fully conscious and able to communicate with the dentist and hygienist throughout treatment. In addition, all natural reflexes are maintained while breathing in nitrous.
What can you (and your child) expect? Nitrous oxide is delivered in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous through a nose mask. Your child will inhale this sweet smelling gas with normal breathing. Next, your child will likely experience a sense of relaxation. Many children report a happy or euphoric feeling (hence the name “laughing gas”). Some kids may even dream while breathing in nitrous oxide. Your child’s pain threshold is significantly raised and time will also seem to pass much quicker. The sights, sounds and sensations that may normally make your child nervous will likely not bother them at all. When the procedure is over, the nitrous oxide gas is turned off, but we will continue to flow oxygen through the mask for about 5 minutes to flush out the remaining gas. A highlighted advantage of using Nitrous Oxide is that there are no lingering side effects once the gas is turned off.
If you think that your child would benefit from sedation dentistry, we are happy to tell you more. Nitrous oxide is an excellent solution for children who fear the dentist. It can also reduce gag reflex, which can interfere with dental treatment. At Park South Dentistry, we do everything we can to make your child feel safe and comfortable while at our office. However, we also recognize that some of our younger patients need sedation dentistry to truly feel at ease. We always welcome your concerns as a parent and we will work with you and your child’s specific needs to create the most rewarding dental visit possible.