Pediatric sedation helps young patients who are extremely fearful feel more relaxed for their dental treatments. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is 100 percent safe for your child. We allow all parents of patients at Bay Area Kids Dentist the opportunity to choose sedation pediatric dentistry if they feel it will be helpful. Our staff trusts that you know your child best and can evaluate whether nitrous oxide is appropriate for his or her appointment. While most children do fine with routine cleanings and exams, it may be something to consider for dental surgery or other more involved procedures.
The Process of Receiving Nitrous Oxide
Before starting the main dental procedure, your child’s dentist places a mask over the nose that contains nitrous oxide. As your child breathes in and out, the nitrous oxide mixes with oxygen to produce a calming effect. We always explain what the mask does and make it as comfortable as possible for your child to wear.
Although relaxed and a little sleepy, your son or daughter remains awake the entire time. He or she can communicate with our staff and see that you are nearby for reassurance. When the procedure is complete, our staff turns off the nitrous oxide while continuing to deliver oxygen for a few minutes. This ensures that all of the nitrous oxide flushes out of the system.
Benefits of Using Nitrous Oxide for Pediatric Patients
Besides helping your child to relax, nitrous oxide prevents an automatic gag reflex that may make it difficult for your child’s dentist to complete the procedure. The entire process of receiving it takes just three to five minutes. Due to a slightly altered consciousness, using nitrous oxide makes it appear that time moves quicker than it does in reality. Your child may report feeling a tingling sensation or being in a dream-like state. He or she may also get a case of the giggles, which is the why some people call this laughing gas.
When Nitrous Oxide May Not Be the Best Alternative
Occasionally, a patient of Bay Area Kids Dentist may not be able to receive sedation with nitrous oxide. The most common reasons include severe anxiety, nasal congestion, or a strong aversion to wearing a mask. We are happy to discuss other alternatives with you if it appears that the typical method of sedation will not work for your child.
Choose a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist for Your Child’s Next Dental Procedure
Every one of our dentists has earned certification from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. That means they have met rigorous standards for excellent oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and pediatric patients with special needs. Whether your child needs a procedure with nitrous oxide or not, we encourage you to choose a Board Certified pediatric dentist who will work hard to gain his or her trust.