Pain-free dentistry is standard here, but Smiles 4 Kids offers three types of sedation, including nitrous oxide. Perhaps the most common and popular form of dental anesthesia, it can be an excellent tool for dental surgery or simply treating some children who are too young to cooperate well with certain treatments. Patients that are very young, are fearful, have extreme tooth decay, or have special needs, may do better with sedation.
Whether or not to use sedation, and the choice of sedation, is a choice made by dentists in partnership with parents. Extremely light sedation via nitrous oxide can help ease any discomfort as well as serve as a behavior management tool.
We get it—going to the dentist can be a little scary, especially for younger patients. No amount of favorite cartoons on the TV above the patient’s chair, stellar “chair side manner” or promise of a treat afterward can be enough to soothe some patients.
Why Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is exceptionally safe—in fact, it’s even better than the oxygen you breathe normally. It delivers more oxygen than even a room filled with plants. It’s a great choice for children who are facing a fear of dental work, or even for cooperative children who are a little worried about a certain procedure. However, it isn’t necessarily for everyone.
It requires some cooperation, since patients have to breathe through a plastic device placed over their nose. Some patients are too young and/or too upset about a procedure to be able to cooperate with such a device. Sometimes, nausea can be a side effect of this type of sedation, too, so just in case, it’s best to avoid eating for one hour before an appointment.
If nitrous oxide doesn’t seem like quite the right fit, there are other options including oral sedation and general anesthesia.