Nitrous Oxide: Is It Safe in Pediatric Dentistry?

Little boy getting Inhalation Sedation while teeth treatment at dental clinic. Teeth treatment child

For parents and children alike, going to the dentist can be a stressful experience, especially if significant treatments are necessary.

If you find this is the case in your family, trust the team at PureSmile in Shanghai. We’ll ensure your family’s next visit to the dentist is a smooth one. Pediatric sedation dentistry options, including the use of nitrous oxide, can guarantee a stress-free visit. Our state-of-the-art equipment, advanced techniques, and years of sedation dental experience put your mind at ease. We are well-equipped to provide your child safe, compassionate care in a comfortable setting. Here’s what you should know about the use of nitrous oxide in pediatric dentistry.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is a sedative that is given to patients in order to help them relax during dental procedures. It is commonly mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask that fits over the patient’s nose. Nitrous oxide is not used to put patients to sleep. Instead, it allows patients to hear and respond to what their dentist is saying while being able to relax and feel comfortable during treatment.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?

The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry considers nitrous oxide to be safe for use on toddlers and children. It is not long-lasting and is only effective while it is breathed in through a mask. Once the mask is removed, it immediately stops working. Like all medications, however, side effects are possible. These might include the following.
  • Shivering or sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
Discuss these possible side effects and any other concerns you may have with your dentist prior to the procedure.

Why Use It?

Nitrous oxide can be very useful in certain situations. It may be recommended for your child if they are:
  • Very young.
  • Anxious, fearful, or uncooperative about going to the dentist.
  • In need of extensive dental work that may be painful or require a long procedure.
The primary goal of dental sedation is to allow the dentist to safely and effectively address your child’s oral health needs in a comfortable, relaxed environment. If your child is unable to sit still for whatever reason, safe dental care may not be possible. In these circumstances, nitrous oxide is a viable option to allow your child to stay awake while helping them feel calm and ensuring they receive the care they need.

What Parents Should Know

Before the Procedure

Prior to your child’s procedure, discuss the risks and benefits of using nitrous oxide with your child’s dentist. Be sure to inform the dentist of your child’s medical history, including any medications they’re currently taking and previous illnesses they may have experienced. It’s also a good idea to give your child a light meal to eat two hours before the procedure to prevent nausea or vomiting.

During the Procedure

You will be able to stay with your child during their dental procedure. Once the nitrous oxide has been given, your child will be alert and feel tingly, but may not remember the procedure when it’s complete. While the nitrous oxide is being administered, the experienced PureSmile team will closely monitor their sedation level while they perform the dental procedure.

After the Procedure

Your child should recover very quickly once their mask has been removed. They will be observed until it’s confirmed that the medication has completely worn off. Some children may feel slightly nauseous after their treatment. In these cases, drinking water can help. Caring for your child’s smile doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. Contact the PureSmile dental team in Shanghai today to learn more about how nitrous oxide can help your child relax at their next dental appointment.