Many children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office. We specialize in treating children and work hard to make children feel special. Our office is designed especially for children and all of our staff have chosen to work here because they enjoy relating to kids.
Sometime, though, a child feels anxious about treatment and may need more support then a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe, effective technique to calm a child's fear of the dental visit.
Q. WHAT IS NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
A. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. When inhaled, it is absorbed by the body and has a calming effect. Normal breathing completely eliminates nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body.
Q. HOW IS NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN GIVEN?
A. Your child can select a nose piece with his or her own choice of kid-approved scents such as bubblegum, strawberry or orange. The amount of nitrous oxide/oxygen given is titrated according to the child's age, behavior, response and the dental procedure being done. Usually, the greatest amount of nitrous oxide/oxygen is given during the administration of local anesthesia at the beginning of the appointment, then volume is tapered off as the patient becomes more relaxed and comfortable.
Q. HOW WILL MY CHILD FEEL WHEN BREATHING NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
A. Your child will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. If your child is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment, the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen often gives a more positive response.
Q. HOW SAFE IS NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
A. Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is possibly the safest sedative in dentistry. It is nonaddictive, mild, easily taken, then quickly and totally eliminated by the body. Your child will remain fully conscious, keeping all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. It will not put the child asleep, although the child may fall naturally asleep due to its relaxing effect. When the appointment is over, the child will be free of any effects of the nitrous oxide/oxygen. Sometimes there will be a temporary pressure mark on the bridge of the nose where the nose piece has rested.
Q. ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN?
A. First, give your child a light meal (occasionally, nausea or vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach). Second, let us know of any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen.
Q. WILL NITROUS OXIDE/OXYGEN WORK FOR ALL CHILDREN?
A. We know that all children are not alike. Although we tailor every service to your child, nitrous oxide/oxygen is not effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety or nasal congestion. Your child must be open to cooperating for the nitrous oxide/oxygen to work. It cannot be forced on a resistant patient. If it is not effective, we can discuss other options that would be right for your child.