Because children find it difficult to sit through a dental treatment, particularly one that involves discomfort, our Tribeca pediatric dental practice offers two options for a more comfortable experience: nitrous oxide and oral sedation. Beginning at the age of 2 years, parents can choose one of these two options for fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions or other treatments. Endorsed by the American Dental Association, sedation is an effective way to make children comfortable during a dental visit.
Often called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide calms pediatric dental patients during procedures. Since they are still awake, children can talk to the dentist or parent during treatment, but are calm and relaxed. After treatment ends, oxygen is given for 5-10 minutes to flush out any remaining nitrous oxide, allowing almost immediate reversal of the effects of the gas. Although nitrous oxide has been used for decades and has been proven safe and effective, on rare occasions some patients experience nausea and/or constipation afterwards. Your dentist will give you pre- and post-anesthesia instructions.
As with nitrous oxide, oral sedation doesn’t put your child “to sleep,” but calms him or her just enough so that dental procedures can be done in a relaxed setting. A variety of medications may be used, and each one is dosed appropriately for your child’s height, weight, and level of sedation.