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Nitrous Oxide Sedation:

Although many children will feel at ease in a pediatric dental office, a child may feel anxious during treatment. Your child may need more support than 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 after the inhalation of the gas eliminates nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body within minutes.

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. Some children may become silly and giddy, while others may simply become very quiet. If your child is worried by the sights, sounds and sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen.

Q: How safe is nitrous oxide/oxygen?

A: Nitrous oxide/oxygen is the safest sedative in dentistry. It is non-addictive. It is mild, easily taken and then quickly eliminated by the body. Your child remains fully conscious, and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. There are rare disorders in which the inhalation of this gas is contraindicated, so please inform us of your child’s complete medical history.

Q: Are there any special instructions for nitrous oxide/oxygen?

A: It is recommended that little or no food be given to a child for 2 hours before a dental visit in which nitrous oxide/ oxygen will be used, since ome children become nauseous on a full stomach while they are inhaling the nitrous oxide/ oxygen. Please tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child, since this may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen.

Q: Will nitrous oxide/oxygen work for all children?

A: No child is alike, and nitrous oxide/oxygen is not effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, extensive treatment needs or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. Since this is the safest sedation method for children, it should be attempted prior to other sedation methods.