Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is the most common type of sedation dentistry for children and adults. It’s a minimal method of sedation that will help your child feel more comfortable and relaxed while allowing them to remain fully conscious, alert, and responsive to commands.
If your child is very nervous about an upcoming dental procedure such as a filling, or they just are anxious and intimidated by the dentist, you may be able to benefit from pediatric dentistry from Dr. Amy Shah at Milktooth Pediatric Dentistry.
Laughing gas can be used during any appointment at our office, including six-month cleanings and oral exams.
After being sedated with laughing gas, your child will feel much less anxious. They will feel a bit “floaty” and disconnected from events that are happening around them, so they won’t feel scared or intimidated. This makes the appointment much smoother for children, dentists, and parents alike.
Along with local numbing, laughing gas completely eliminates pain, since it functions as an analgesic (pain reliever). If your child has a very low pain threshold or is scared that their appointment will hurt, laughing gas can help them with this issue.
Some kids have a harder time staying still in the dentist’s chair than others. If your child is very active, laughing gas can help them feel more comfortable staying still. This is particularly beneficial for lengthy appointments that may take 1-2 hours or longer, such as placing multiple fillings or preparing for dental crowns.
Many kids have a strong gag reflex, which is made worse by their small mouths. It can be hard for a dentist to work in the rear of your child’s mouth if they gag easily. Laughing gas eliminates this issue, since it can help suppress and inhibit the gag reflex.
Up to 63% of kids are afraid of needles, and it can be difficult to use numbing injections in kids who are very nervous or scared. Laughing gas helps with fear of needles and makes it easier to numb your child’s mouth.
Laughing gas has minimal side effects. After the flow of the gas stops, Dr. Shah will pump oxygen through your child’s nose mask to “flush” the remaining gas from their system.
Within about 5 minutes, the sedative will wear off. At this time, your child may experience some mild side effects like a headache, nausea or an upset stomach, confusion, and dizziness. More rarely, your child may experience shivering or feelings of fatigue.
All of these side effects will wear off quite quickly. You and your child can leave Milktooth Dental and get back your day-to-day routine right away, making laughing gas the most convenient method of sedation dentistry at our office.
Sedation may help your child feel more comfortable at the dentist.