Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide Inhalation Sedation

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child’s anxiety of the dental visit and enhance effective communication. Additionally, it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.

If your child is apprehensive by the sounds, sights, or sensations of dental treatment, they may react more positively with the use of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a combination of two gases. When inhaled, the oxygen and nitrous oxide combination are absorbed by the body and provide a reassuring, relaxing effect for your child without putting them to sleep. Your child will smell a scent that is pleasant and will experience a sense of comfort and calmness. Children will breathe normally with a mask in place sitting gently over their nose.

Since it may produce a feeling of euphoria, it is often called "laughing gas." Children sometimes report dreaming and their arms and legs may feel "tingly." It raises the pain threshold and may make the time appear to pass quickly.

Please have your child eat something light before their appointment. Avoid heavy or greasy foods like sausages, eggs, pancakes, even milk products. Toast, crackers, dry cereal, water, clear juice are good choices. Please inform a staff member if your child has taken any medication before using nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide is considered the safest sedative in dentistry. It is non-addictive. Your child will remain fully conscious and all natural reflexes will remain in place while breathing nitrous oxide.

Your child will be administered 100% oxygen following the use of the nitrous oxide. The oxygen will quickly remove virtually all of the remaining nitrous oxide from their body. Your child will be able to walk out of our office on their own.

Dr. Angela, Dr. Arpi or Dr. Lara will review your child’s medical history, level of anxiety, and dental treatment needs and inform you if nitrous oxide/oxygen is recommended for your child.

General Anesthesia for Kids

Why do general anesthesia?

There may be times when young children or toddlers may be very frightened of the dentist. At Alexandria Children's Dentistry we understand this, and make every effort we can to be as conservative as possible in our treatment approach. But there are times, when general anesthesia may be recommended and discussed with the parents. A conversation about this treatment approach is had, and if the parents and Dr. Angela both agree, general anesthesia may be the best route to ensuring the safety of the child and to provide the optimal situation to safely care for the child’s teeth.

We only work with board-certified anesthesiologists who specialize in providing anesthesia safely for children.

If general anesthesia is the route we do take, rest assured all necessary treatment is completed in that one visit.