How Is Nitrous Oxide Used For Dental Sedation In Children?
Fussy and anxious children can give dentists a difficult time, even during simple and painless procedures like routine cleaning. Fortunately, dentists have several options for sedating or relaxing a child before a dental procedure.
For a less intrusive and more comfortable experience, Children’s Dentistry of Manatee uses an effective anesthetic that’s been safely used since 1844: nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is widely regarded as the safest and mildest anesthetic available in pediatric dentistry. Read on to learn more about nitrous oxide and how our practice uses it to calm patients with dental anxiety.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas, is a gaseous compound of nitrogen and oxygen. It is colorless and non-flammable. When breathed in, it has analgesic and anxiolytic properties.
Here are some of the common effects of nitrous oxide on dental patients:
- They will feel sleepy and light-headed.
- They’ll remain aware and conscious of the procedure and their surroundings.
- They’ll feel very relaxed and at ease.
- They may feel tingling in their extremities.
While under the influence of nitrous oxide, the patient will have significantly reduced pain sensitivity and be far less anxious – helping them stay calm during their time in the dentist’s chair. However, nitrous oxide doesn’t reduce pain as much as anesthesia does, so dentists may still apply anesthesia for more invasive procedures.
How Is It Administered?
Nitrous oxide is continuously administered when the child is seated in the dentist’s chair. The child is fitted with a nose piece attached to the delivery system, then a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is channeled into the nosepiece.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Nitrous oxide is rapidly eliminated from the body after it stops being administered, and side effects are typically very minimal. However, some children may experience the following short-term side effects:
- Chills and shivering
In very rare cases, some children may exhibit an allergic reaction to the gas, which can manifest as:
- Hives and welts
- Breathing problems
Your dentist will brief you on these possibilities and ensure that your child gets the care they need if they experience these effects.
How Do You Prepare Your Child For Their Procedure?
Nitrous oxide requires a brief period of fasting before it is administered. Two hours before the procedure, prepare your child by giving them:
- A light meal, like a sandwich
- Clear fluids, like water or juice without pulp
Safe Dental IV Sedation At Children’s Dentistry Of Manatee
At Children’s Dentistry of Manatee, we offer nitrous oxide sedation for our pediatric patients in Lakewood Ranch, FL. Our board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Bryan Morgan, will perform each dental procedure carefully and painlessly, while our team of specialists will ensure that your child is safe while sedated. Start your child’s dental care journey with us – call and schedule an appointment today!