Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in children. Administered through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose and not through their mouth. As the gas begins to work, your child will become calm, although he or she will still be awake and able to talk with the dentist.
At the end of your child’s appointment, he or she will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable during dental visits, nitrous oxide may not be necessary.
Pediatric Hospital Dentistry
If your child cannot receive dental care in a traditional dental office, our practice offers gentle and effective dental care to infants, children, and adolescents in the nurturing environment of our local hospital. As one of the only pediatric dentists in the area to offer this unique service, our pediatric dentist has the distinctive ability to understand the specific needs of children who need dental care but cannot cooperate for safe dental treatment. Through hospital dentistry, you can eliminate the struggles and trauma that can lead to a lifetime fear of dental treatment for your child.
Is hospital dentistry right for my child?
Pediatric hospital dentistry services are ideal for:
- Physically, emotionally, or developmentally challenged children who are unable to hold still for dental treatment
- Children that have a severe gag reflex
- Children with complex medical conditions that make it unsafe to receive dental care in an office situation
- Children who have allergies to local anesthetics or experience difficulty achieving numbness
- Children who need oral surgery or other dental treatment that would be difficult for the child to tolerate while awake
For these situations, the use of general anesthesia may be the best option for your family.
General anesthesia will put your child into a deep sleep. He or she will be unable to feel pain or move around. General anesthesia for dental procedures can be provided by an anesthesiologist or dental anesthesiologist. These professionals are trained to deliver medication, monitor your child during the procedure, and handle any complications that may occur.
To prepare your child for general anesthesia, follow the guidelines given to you by the doctor regarding food and fluid intake before and after the procedure. Discuss the procedure with your child using simple terms that he or she can understand. Let your child rest quietly at home after the procedure. He or she will probably be ready to resume their normal schedule the next day.