Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Laughing Gas for the slightly anxious child. Laughing Gas helps a child who is cooperative but worried about various aspects of their appointment. It helps alleviate anxiety about having instruments placed in the mouth. Laughing Gas isn’t for everyone, however. It requires a certain amount of cooperation from the child, as they are required to breathe only through a plastic apparatus placed over their nose. If the child is too young or too anxious to sit in a chair and breathe through a nose-piece, Laughing Gas is not an option.
Laughing Gas is an extremely safe sedation option. When your child is breathing Laughing Gas they are receiving more oxygen than they are getting in room air. The nitrous wears off as soon as the patient is done with treatment.
Oral sedation is offered to the anxious, the fearful or the very young patient. It is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety. Depending on your child's age, cooperation and amount of treatment needed, your child will be given medicine combinations prior to treatment. Medication additionally helps reduce memory or the sight and smells of the dental office to avoid recall of any trauma. The sedative effects allows more dentistry to be completed in fewer appointments as well as allowing complex procedures to be performed in less time. The treatment will be preformed with your child being placed on a papoose board, (sleeping bag). Laughing Gas may also be used with Oral Sedation. Your child might become wobbly and act silly, sometimes may even be disoriented or grumpy. The effects of oral sedation will last 6-8 hours. The child will need constant supervision for the day, no school or vigorous activities are recommended. The child will be back to normal activity the following day.
General Anesthesia or IV sedation is a procedure that allows treatment to be completed on children who are unable to accept dental treatment while conscious. This is available for children age 2 yrs and up.
A Dental anesthesiologist is used for children who require general anesthesia (sleep dentistry) in order to complete their treatment. General anesthesia is also a very safe procedure for healthy children. Dental x-rays, full exam and cleaning (if needed) will be done along with the complete dental treatment that day.
Rady's Children's Hospital
General Anesthesia but at Rady's Children's Hospital
Children ages 1 to 6.