Preparing for Sedation Dentistry
It is very important to make sure your child is in good overall health prior to the sedation to optimize treatment. Dr. Dina and her team will review all these instructions to keep your child safe throughout treatment.
Some children who require a significant amount of dental work, are severely anxious, have special health care needs, or are too small to cooperate with treatment in other manners might need general anesthesia in a hospital setting in order to have treatment completed safely and effectively. Dr. Dina has privileges at a number of community hospitals in order to be able to offer the safest treatment possible for your child with a board-certified Medical Anesthesiologist (M.D.) providing the anesthesia.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Often called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gas that is routinely used to help your child relax through various procedures. Nitrous oxide, when used properly, is very safe and does not cause your child to fall asleep. Despite its nickname, not all kids laugh at laughing gas. A lot of times kids will tell Dr. Dina that they feel like someone is tickling them or they feel like they are floating or flying.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes the use of nitrous oxide as a safe way to help reduce anxiety and create analgesia, or the inability to feel pain. It’s a really good sedation method for children who need fillings, crowns, or extractions, and it can reduce their fear of dental visits.
How Nitrous Oxide Sedation it works:
The analgesic effect of nitrous oxide appears to be initiated by the neuronal release of endogenous opioid peptides with subsequent activation of opioid receptors and descending gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors and noradrenergic pathways that modulate nociceptive processing at the spinal level.
Before Nitrous Oxide Sedation:
While it is not necessary to restrict food and drink after midnight before an appointment where nitrous oxide will be used, children should only be given light food or liquid only.
N2O has a sweet, pleasant, and nonirritating odor.
It has a rapid onset of action as well as fast recovery.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen reduces or eliminates anxiety and reaction to dental treatment.
It enhances communication and patient cooperation.
It also raises the pain reaction threshold.
It helps increase tolerance for longer appointments and treatment of the mentally/physically disabled or medically compromised patient.
Will My Child Be Awake?
N2O will make your child sleepy, but most kids stay awake. It does not cause a deep sleep, as general anesthesia does. The effects of N2O wear off quickly after the gas is turned off and children get back to their usual activities.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia/anxiolysis is recommended in fearful and anxious patients.
Certain patients with special health care needs.
Patients having gag reflex that interferes with dental care.
A patient for whom profound local anesthesia cannot be obtained.
A cooperative child undergoing a lengthy dental procedure.
Acute and chronic adverse effects of nitrous oxide on the patient are rare. The most common adverse effects, occurring in 0.5-1.2 percent of patients, are nausea and vomiting. Generally, these side effects are mild and quickly stop minutes after the gas is turned off.
The availability of nitrous oxide to the pediatric patient resulting in less stress and greater satisfaction. The patient can experience fearless dental treatment and in comfortable environment. When used according to recommended guidelines, it is safe method for managing patient anxiety associated with dental treatment.