When children are scared, have strong gag reflexes, medical conditions, special needs, or are unable to sit for one reason or another, varying levels of dental sedation can carefully be administered to aid relaxation and allow dental care to be performed. Depending on the particular needs of each child, the pedodontist will suggest the best method of dental sedation. There are several options in dental sedation available for your child, including inhalation sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedatives, IV sedation, as well as general anesthesia performed in the appropriate setting for particular procedures or circumstances. Each of these options has special considerations, which will be explained in greater detail before your child's dental procedure is scheduled.
Commonly referred to as "laughing gas," nitrous oxide is used as a mild sedative to reduce anxiety and allow a level of relaxation during a procedure. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask over the nose. It is administered for the duration of the procedure and is turned off as the procedure.