For many people, especially young children, having a dental procedure done can cause a bit of anxiety. It makes sense. No one finds it extremely fun or comfortable to have someone else’s hands in their mouth, or hear the sound of a dental drill right by their ear. At Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, we try to alleviate as much fear and anxiety as possible by thoroughly explaining the procedure to both patient and parent. We know that a calm and friendly demeanor can go along way in gaining trust and we encourage the patient with positive engagement along the way.
For some patients, however, this may not be enough. And that’s okay. We understand! In the case of an anxious patient, or for longer procedures, it may be beneficial to offer our patients a mild sedative, or calming drug. Many times, this will be in the form of nitrous oxide.
What is nitrous oxide, and will it really make you laugh? Nitrous oxide is often called “laughing gas.” It’s a very safe and mild sedative that your child’s dentist will give to your child while they are seated in the dental chair. It’s administered through a face mask which carries oxygen and medication to your child as they breathe. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose, rather than their mouth and the sedation will take place within a few minutes. Your child will remain awake and coherent throughout the entire procedure, but the nitrous oxide will help them remain calm and relaxed and probably give them a “happy” feeling. Once the procedure is complete, the gas will be turned off and your child will continue to breathe pure oxygen for several minutes to clear the out any remaining gas from their system.
Why use any sedation?
Sedation may be used to manage special needs or anxiety, especially when several procedures need to be completed at the same time, if the safety of the child is compromised due to them moving or struggling, or even when a child has a strong gag reflex. While the sedation medication will not control pain or discomfort, it will allow your child’s dentist to provide the anesthetic shots to numb the area, work safely and more quickly on your child and ease your child’s anxiety so that he or she has a better experience in the dental chair.
Use of sedation medication during pediatric dental visits can be a helpful tool that will allow your child to have a better experience at the dentist and help set them up for a better relationship with the dentist for life. By avoiding negative experiences and bad memories at the dentist, you are helping pave the road for better oral care for life. And that’s definitely Something to Smile About!
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to give you and your child Something to Smile About! Call us today at 864-760-1440 to schedule an appointment for your child today!