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Is Nitrous Oxide A Good Option For Your Children?

Child With Nitrous Oxide Mask

It’s common for young children to feel a little nervous when the prospect of a dental visit is mentioned. Children who have been to the dentist before may have had a poor experience prior. Those who have never been may be responding to teasing from their classmates. It’s also possible that they’re merely worried over a procedure they’ve never had before. In some cases, however, the child may suffer from a phobia known as dental anxiety. This phobia can cause them significant anxiety and even fear when they realize they may need to go to the dentist.

Nitrous Oxide And How It Helps Children With Dental Care

The first introduction of nitrous oxide occurred in the late 1800s. At this time, it was discovered that this gas was capable of relaxing patients and reducing some of the discomforts they experienced during treatments. As the years went by, the methods of administering this gas improved, and it became ever more effective and safe. The current method involves using a nasal mask with a control valve that allows the dentist to precisely control the amount of gas delivered.

This is just one of the benefits that this sedative brings to the table. It also lacks any meaningful side effects. The worst reported incidents of nitrous gas are mild headaches and nausea in certain sensitive individuals. When the gas is administered, recovery is also quite rapid. Recovering from nitrous oxide sedation happens at a rate far faster than other sedatives. This means they are back to “normal” within minutes of removing the gas. The actual effect of the gas is to render the patient relaxed, calm, and even perhaps a bit giddy. This is the property that gives it its nickname “laughing gas.” Other benefits of the gas include:

  • Ongoing Communication – Nitrous oxide does not impair the ability of children to respond to the dentist during the procedure. They’ll be able to cooperate while remaining calm and relaxed. They’ll also be able to communicate with the dentist if they have concerns or questions.
  • Short Recovery Times – The recovery times from nitrous oxide are particularly rapid. Those who receive nitrous oxide recover from the sedative within a few moments of the gas is removed.
  • Minimal Side Effects – Minimal side effects occur when nitrous oxide is used. Some patients may respond by sweating or shivering, or even becoming nauseous. However, these side effects are rare, and most patients tolerate the sedative quite well.

These qualities make nitrous oxide continue to be one of the most popular sedative approaches when mild sedation is needed.

Share Your Concerns With Your Dental Provider

Contact your dental professional if you have more questions about using nitrous oxide as a sedative for your child. It has been utilized successfully for over a century to help patients undergo dental care in a safe and calm state of mind. Call and schedule your next bi-annual appointment with them today!

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