Sometimes, children are too fearful to receive necessary dental treatment. When this happens, conscious sedation with nitrous oxide may be recommended to help make your child’s experience of dental treatment stress-free.
Conscious sedation involves medication to help ease tension and block pain during dental treatment, and does not put you to sleep. For pediatric treatments that opt for conscious sedation, nitrous oxide is used. Nitrous oxide is an anxiolytic, which means it makes anxiety disappear. It might cause a floating sensation, and maybe tingling in hands and feet. While under treatment, your child will be fully alert, aware of what is going on, and able to speak.
Nitrous oxide is delivered through a small mask that fits over the child’s nose. Once it has been confirmed that your child is calm and comfortable, the dental procedure can begin.
Nitrous Oxide is not a direct substitute for a local anesthetic, but sometimes an anesthetic injection is not needed while under nitrous oxide.
When treatment is over, the flow of nitrous oxide is decreased to zero, and the oxygen will be increased. After resting in the chair for a few minutes, the child will feel completely normal.
If your child’s anxiety prevents them from getting the care they need, conscious sedation with nitrous oxide might be a good option. Before your child is treated, you will be asked for a complete medical history, including any medications your child is taking. Your child will be kept safe and comfortable throughout the procedure.