Gainesville Pediatric Dentist Offers Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide is one of the most common dental sedatives both for adults and children. This type of sedation can be especially helpful for pediatric patients, whose level of apprehension and fear about dental treatment can be significant. Many times, it is important for a dental procedure to go smoothly and without incident in order for your child to form a lasting good impression about dental care. In other words, the easier the treatment is delivered, the happier your child will be. This is where nitrous oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) can be a big help. Here are a few facts about nitrous oxide as it relates to pediatric dentistry.
The manner in which nitrous oxide is administered in a dental setting is extremely safe. The gas is in a constant mixture with oxygen and its concentration is closely monitored at all times. The effects of nitrous oxide are felt very quickly, but are typically rather mild, and can be reversed very quickly. This makes nitrous oxide one of the top sedation choices for many pediatric dentists.
The gas itself is administered through a mask that covers the nose. There is little in terms of sensation other than a faint, sweet smell that the gas produces. Receiving nitrous oxide is typically very easy for children. Within a few minutes, a happy or feeling of relaxation and lightness is felt. This helps to calm the patient and make both the dentist’s work easier and the patient’s experience more positive. It should be noted that nitrous oxide is not a replacement for local anesthesia (injections), as it does not have any numbing effects. It merely sedates the patient.
Nitrous oxide does not render patients unconscious or “put them to sleep.” In fact, the patient is awake the entire time, albeit in a very relaxed state. In most cases, this is all that is needed to successfully deliver dental care to a fearful pediatric patient.
Once a procedure is completed, the nitrous oxide is turned off and the patient continues to wear the mask and breathe pure oxygen for several minutes. This helps flush the body of the gas and return to a normal state. In virtually every case, patients feel completely normal within a few minutes of ceasing nitrous oxide inhalation.
If your child has a scheduled dental appointment that will utilize nitrous oxide, it is wise to avoid a large meal beforehand. From time to time, the gas may make patients feel nauseated. Having a nearly empty stomach reduces the possibility for nausea or vomiting. These side effects are relatively uncommon, however.
If your child is in need of dental care and you are worried about his or her ability to remain calm and unafraid, talk to your Gainesville pediatric dentist about nitrous oxide. Although there are other sedation methods, this safe, fast, and effective means of sedation is the first line of therapy for almost all children who are apprehensive about getting dental treatment.