Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, is a mild form of sedation that may be used with children. Children who are overly nervous or anxious about their appointment are great candidates for this type of sedation. Nitrous oxide eases the child’s fears, helps them relax during their visit, and to receive dental treatment in a more comfortable and safe manner. Additionally, it reduces the gag reflex, which sometimes can interfere with treatment.
Nitrous is delivered in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous through a nose mask, as the child breathes in and out normally. The child does remain awake during the entire procedure and is able to communicate and interact with the dentist and staff. When the procedure is over, the nitrous oxide gas is turned off but oxygen will continue to flow through the mask for 3 to 5 minutes so that the gas is flushed from the system. Nitrous is safe to use during treatment and once the gas is turned off, it is completely out of the body. There are no lingering effects.
When breathing in nitrous oxide, your child will smell a faint and sweet aroma and experience a sense of relaxation. Sometimes nitrous gives a happy or euphoric feeling, hence why it is often called “laughing gas”. Kids have reported dreaming and their arms and legs feel “tingly”. This raises the pain threshold and may even make time seem to pass quicker. Usually, children feel more comfortable with the use of nitrous oxide and are less worried about the sounds, sights or sensations of treatment.
Nitrous oxide is one of the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated, has a rapid onset, and can be reversed and adjusted in various concentrations. It is also non-allergenic. Children remain fully conscious and can keep all natural reflexes when breathing in nitrous. He or she is still capable of responding to a question or request.
Of course, not all children are all alike and here at Creekside Endodontics, we tailor specifically to your child’s needs and what is best for every individual. We pride ourselves in establishing a kid-friendly environment that is safe and effective.
Creekside Endodontics is a specialty endodontic practice in Lone Tree, CO. Dr. Stubbs provides affordable root canal treatment and sedation dentistry to pediatric patients from all over the Denver area.