Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Q. What is nitrous oxide sedation?
A. Nitrous oxide sedation uses the blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is delivered through a nasal hood and helps patients to feel calm and comfortable.
Q. How will my child feel when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen?
A. Your child will smell a faint sweet aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it may produce a feeling of giddiness or euphoria, it is often called “laughing gas.” Their arms and legs may feel “tingly.” It raises the patient’s pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass more quickly. If your child is anxious by the sights, sounds, or sensations of dental treatment, he/she may respond more positively with the help of nitrous oxide sedation.
Q. How safe is nitrous oxide sedation?
A. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated. It has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations, and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen, and is capable of responding to questions or requests.
Q. Are there any special instructions before nitrous oxide sedation?
A. Give your child little or no food two hours before the dental visit. Nitrous oxide sedation can sometimes cause nausea or vomiting when a child had a full meal right before the appointment. Inform your pediatric dentist about any respiratory condition that makes your child has difficulty to breathe through his/her nose. You should also inform your pediatric dentist of any medications your child is taking.
Q. Does nitrous oxide sedation work for all children?
A. Nitrous oxide sedation may not be effective in some children; e.g., children with severe anxiety or nasal congestion. Your pediatric dentist will review your child’s medical history, level of anxiety, and the amount of dental treatment needed before making the recommendation.
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