Nitrous Oxide  |  Outpatient General Anesthesia

Nitrous Oxide

Girl having her teeth checkedMany children can benefit from the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation is a very safe, mild form of conscious sedation used to calm and relax anxious patients without putting them to sleep. It also helps with pain control and relieves gagging. Nitrous oxide and oxygen are both colorless, odorless gases that are given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose. The gas is mild and easily taken and with normal breathing it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is also non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and maintains all natural reflexes. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use when treating children’s dental needs.

Prior to your appointment:

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia for dental treatment is provided within a hospital or outpatient surgery center. General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement and discomfort during dental treatment. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep, the same as would be provided for patients having their tonsils removed or ear tubes placed.

General anesthesia for dental care is recommended for children with extensive dental treatment needs, fearful or anxious children, very young children and children with special health care needs.

If general anesthesia is recommended for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. The risks of anesthesia are less than the risk of even driving a car daily. Pediatric anesthesiologists who have extensive training in anesthesia for children will administer and monitor your child while your pediatric dentist provides his/her medically necessary dental care.

The benefits of general anesthesia are pain-free delivery of dental care, dental treatment can be performed under optimal conditions thus providing optimal results, treatment can be completed in one visit versus multiple office visits and the child maintains a positive outlook on dental care thus minimizing fear at future dental visits. The inherent risks if general anesthesia is not chosen to provide dental care that otherwise could not be provided in the dental office setting are: treatment may be compromised if attempted in the office for a non cooperative patient, multiple appointments needed to complete treatment, possible emotional and/or physical injury (due to child struggling and/or moving unexpectedly during treatment) to your child in order to complete their dental treatment and medically necessary dental care cannot be provided at all due to behavior . The risks of NO treatment include pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

After the appointment:

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