At Kidz Dental Centre, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of procedures !
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of a mild sedative (calming drugs) to manage special needs or anxiety while your child receives dental care. Sedation also may be used when several procedures need to be done at the same time, or if your child has a strong “gag” reflex.
Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Inhalation Conscious Sedation
Nitrous Oxide also known as “Laughing Gas or Happy Air” is a very safe, mild sedative that will help your child remain relaxed during dental procedures. The Inhalation Sedation is administered with the use of a Scented Nasal Mask, which carries oxygen mixed with the sedative (Nitrous Oxide).
Your child will be asked to breathe through the nose, not the mouth, and will sense a faint, sweet smell. The sedation will take effect in about 5 minutes. The mask will remain in place until the procedure is done. Your child will be awake during the entire procedure and may have a “Happy or Euphoric” feeling.
When the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for about 5 minutes to clear out any remaining gas.
Preparing for an Appointment Using Nitrous Oxide
Typically, a separate appointment is scheduled for patients who will be receiving Nitrous Oxide during their procedure.
Parents are advised to inform the dentist if the patient is experiencing any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult. A stuffy nose or other respiratory issues limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide.
It is also important to tell your dentist about any medications your child may be taking, or if there have been any changes to your child’s medical history since the last visit.
Effects of Nitrous Oxide
Patients are encouraged to relax and lie back in the dental chair to start the appointment. The dentist will place a mask over the nose of the patient, and will turn on the gas. Effects of Nitrous Oxide are almost immediate. The child will smell a faint, sweet aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Patients sometimes report feeling “dreamy” and their arms and legs may feel “tingly”.
Nitrous Oxide also raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. If your child is usually anxious by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment; he may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation.
The effects of Nitrous Oxide wear off very quickly, typically within minutes after the flow of gas has stopped. Children are observed for a brief period of time, and are able to get back to their normal routine right away.
Frequently Asked questions
It is indeed Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated. It has a rapid onset, and a rapid offset. It can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. He/she will be capable of responding to a question or request. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may also be used in combination with other sedative agents.
First, give your child no food in the two hours preceding the dental visit (occasionally, nausea or vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach). Second, tell the pediatric dentist about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child, as it may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen. Third, tell the pediatric dentist if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.