Some children may feel anxious before or during dental treatment. Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child's fear of the dentist and enhance effective communication. Additionally, it has some analgesic effects and works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.
WHAT IS NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
Nitrous oxide/oxygen (N2O-O2) is a blend of two gases – oxygen and nitrous oxide. A fitted mask is placed over the nose and, as the patient breathes normally, uptake occurs through the lungs. At the end of treatment, it is eliminated for a short period of breathing oxygen and has no lingering effects.
HOW WILL MY CHILD FEEL WHEN BREATHING NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
Your child will smell a faint sweet aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it may produce a feeling of giddiness or euphoria, it is often called “laughing gas.” Children sometimes report dreaming and their arms and legs may feel “tingly.” It raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. 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.
HOW SAFE IS NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated. It has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious – keeps all natural reflexes – when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. They will be capable of responding to a question or request. It can also be used in combination with other sedative agents.
WILL NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN WORK FOR ALL CHILDREN
We know that all children are not alike. Every service is tailored to your child as an individual. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may not be effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. We have comprehensive specialty training and can offer other sedation methods that are right for your child.