As parents, we know that your number one goal is to keep your child safe and as happy and comfortable as possible. Good news! That’s our goal too. Our office uses nitrous oxide for pediatric patients if their parents grant us permission. But we know that you might have some questions before you feel comfortable making that decision. Let’s dive in.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas – is a colorless, mildly sweet-smelling gas that has been used in surgical and dental anesthesia since the mid-1800s. In dental and medical offices, nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and inhaled to help manage pain and anxiety during procedures.
Is it safe?
The short answer is YES! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says that the combo of nitrous oxide and oxygen is a safe and effective technique to make dental procedures more comfortable. It can reduce anxiety and lessen pain. We’ve also found that it can even make children more at ease to talk to Dr. Cruise if they’re nervous about a procedure.
How will it make My Child Feel?
When inhaled continuously, nitrous oxide acts as a mild, relaxing sedative. Your child will feel relaxed or sleepy, without actually putting them to sleep. The gas works very quickly – almost immediately. For most patients, drowsiness will set in as soon as two to three minutes. Your child may feel slightly lightheaded, tingly, or as if they are floating. It’s called laughing gas for a reason! It’s very common for kids to get the giggles. One of the major benefits is that unlike other forms of sedation, nitrous oxide wears off within minutes and has no residual effects.
How to Prepare
It will help to tell your child what to expect – especially if they are nervous or curious about how the gas will make them feel. Use clear language to tell them that they will wear a mask over their nose to breathe in medicine that might make them feel a little silly. Tell them that they will only feel funny while they are breathing in the medicine and that it will wear off quickly. Make sure to reassure them that you will be close by and if they are scared or uncomfortable, they should let us know immediately.
Always Here For You
We are committed to helping your children achieve happy and healthy smiles in the most comfortable way possible. We strongly believe that the use of nitrous oxide can aid in helping our patients relax during procedures. If you have any reservations or questions, we are more than happy to talk you through the specifics.