Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is breathed in through the nose to help children relax during dental treatments. The gas takes the edge off of their anxiety so they can cooperate with their treatment. At the end of the procedure, the nitrous is turned off, and oxygen is given to help them breathe normally again. The effects don’t take long to wear off, and the gas has no lingering side effects. At Bend Children's Dentistry, we may recommend nitrous oxide for your child’s dental treatment if they have trouble cooperating or you’re concerned about your child’s ability or willingness to sit still during treatment. We may also recommend it if we need to perform multiple procedures in one visit that can be long or uncomfortable.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Our pediatric dentist will first administer the nitrous oxide through a rubber mask over the nose and mouth. The patient will feel the effects of the gas within about a minute, at which point the dentist can adjust the level of sedation as needed. Patients who are too agitated to relax can remove the mask and converse normally with the dentist. Once the child is comfortable, the pediatric dentist can begin the procedure as usual. Once the process is complete, the gas will wear off within a few minutes.
The Benefits of Nitrous Oxide
For children, the calming effects of nitrous oxide are helpful for pain and anxiety associated with dental treatments. The gas results are felt immediately and can be tailored to your child’s level of sedation and comfort. The gas wears off within minutes of the procedure, so your child is ready to go after the process is finished.
Alignment of the teeth can provide several health benefits for your child, including easier chewing and improved speech development. With better alignment, the teeth are less likely to experience problems such as decay and enamel erosion that develop when teeth are crooked or overlapping. Schedule a consultation for your children to learn if orthodontic treatment may be proper for them.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?
While nitrous oxide is considered a relatively safe and effective sedative, it’s essential to consider your child’s medical history and allergies before administering it. Because it is inhaled through the nose, it may not suit patients with respiratory problems or a deviated septum. Additionally, the dosage for each child must be carefully monitored to ensure safety. It should never be given to a child without appropriate supervision by a qualified dentist or anesthesiologist.
If you want to learn more about sedation dentistry for your child, visit Bend Children's Dentistry at 2190 NE Professional Court, Suite 200, Bend, OR 97701, or call (541) 907-1611. We will happily answer any additional questions about nitrous oxide and children.
2190 NE Professional Court, Suite 200, Bend, OR 97701