Inhalation Sedation (Minimal Sedation)
Q: What is Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen?
A: Nitrous oxide/oxygen (laughing gas) is a safe, effective technique to calm a child's fear of the dental visit. A blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide is absorbed by the body and has a calming effect. Your child remains fully conscious, keeps all natural reflexes, when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. After completion of dental treatment and cessation of gas, normal breathing quickly eliminates all nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body.
Q: How will my child feel when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen?
A: Your child will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. 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/oxygen.
Q: Are there any special instructions for nitrous oxide/oxygen?
A: First, give your child little or no food before the dental visit (occasionally, nausea or vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach). Second, tell your pediatric dentist about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen. Third, tell your pediatric dentist if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
Q: Will nitrous oxide/oxygen work for all children?
A: Pediatric dentists know that all children are not alike! Every service is tailored to your child as an individual. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is not effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, extensive treatment needs, or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. Pediatric dentists have comprehensive specialty training and can offer other sedation methods that might be more effective for your child.