As a parent, ensuring your child’s well-being is a top priority and something that should always be on your mind, especially when it comes to their dental health! That said, dental procedures can sometimes be intimidating for young children, and it’s not uncommon for them to feel anxious or frightened about visiting the dentist. This is where sedation dentistry comes in handy—in such cases, nitrous oxide can be used as an option to ease your little one’s dental-related anxiety and make their experience in the chair much more pleasant. Continue reading to learn more about this option and to learn if your child might benefit from it!
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Also commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a colorless and odorless gas that, when inhaled, produces a calming, euphoric effect—though it does not make patients cackle or giggle uncontrollably as the name implies! It’s been used in dentistry for quite some time, and it’s generally considered safe when administered by a trained dental staff.
Administering it is quite simple; a soft nasal mask is placed on the face that feeds a controlled mixture of gas and oxygen to the patient. Nitrous oxide is often chosen for its mild sedative properties; it allows the patient to remain conscious, responsive, and cooperative during dental treatment without any lingering effects. Sometimes minor side effects like nausea and vomiting are possible, but are usually fleeting.
Is My Child a Good Candidate?
While nitrous oxide can be a valuable tool for managing anxiety during dental visits, as well as making longer or more complex treatments easier, not every child is a suitable candidate. Here are some of the factors that are considered when evaluating a child’s eligibility for nitrous oxide sedation:
· Age & Maturity – While dental sedation can be used on children, it should only be done when there’s a true need for it. Younger children may find it challenging to understand and cooperate with the administration of nitrous oxide, and their ability to follow instructions and remain relatively still during the procedure is crucial.
· Medical History – You should inform your dentist about your child’s medical history, including any respiratory conditions (like asthma), allergies, or other health concerns. Even though nitrous oxide is generally safe, it’s important to ensure that the risk of complications is as minimal as possible by keeping tabs on everything. Children with special healthcare needs, such as autism or sensory sensitivity, might also benefit from this form of sedation.
· Dental Procedure Being Performed – If your child requires multiple dental procedures or something inherently a little complex, nitrous oxide can be an effective way to suppress their gag reflex, manage their comfort, and make their chair time pass quickly.
Ultimately, the decision to use nitrous oxide sedation for your child should be made after consulting with their dentist. That said, there are very few doubts that it’s an effective way of ensuring your little one’s time at the dentist is productive and positive!
About the Practice
The talented team at HiFive Kids Dental and Braces has proudly served families in the Pickering, ON community for several years! They’re excited to offer a wide range of services, including preventive, restorative, and orthodontic treatment options, as well as sedation dentistry. If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to set up a visit for your little one, feel free to contact the practice’s team through their website or over the phone for assistance. Telephone: +1 289-302-6065.