Nitrous Oxide: What Does It Do?

Nitrous oxide is a dental sedative, administered in gas form, that is often used for dental surgeries or other dental treatments.  It can alleviate pain and anxiety very effectively. Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida offers nitrous oxide sedation for their young patients when they need to have surgery or other dental procedures. This type of sedation is widely used because it’s very safe for patients of all ages, including even young children. Nitrous oxide is often an excellent choice for patients who are fearful of the dentist, for patients who are resistant to having dental care, or for patients who are too young to really be able to cooperate properly for dental treatment.

Preparing for Nitrous Oxide

The dentist will give you a set of guidelines to help you prepare your child for a dental treatment with nitrous oxide. These guidelines are simple and easy to follow, and there’s usually no special preparation needed until the day of or the day before the dental appointment. Patients shouldn’t have dairy products on the day of their dental appointment, and children shouldn’t eat or drink for at least three hours prior to the nitrous oxide being administered.

What Does Nitrous Oxide Feel Like?

Nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and is administered via mask before the dental procedure begins. It takes only around 20 seconds for the nitrous oxide to reach the brain. The painkilling properties will kick in in only two or three minutes and the treatment can then start.

Many patients grow drowsy, and may even lightly doze. Some patients experience tingling feeling in their arms and legs or a sense of deep warmth throughout the body. Your child may even say that they feel like they’re floating or flying. NItrous oxide can give a sense of eupohoria, making the dentist’s office suddenly seem a lot more fun than it ever has before.

Sometimes nitrous oxide is also referred to as laughing gas because it causes some young patients to giggle and can make them feel extra happy. The nitrous oxide is so effective that some patients don’t even realize the procedure is over, and have no memory of it thereafter.  Your child will continue to breathe on their own and be fully responsive throughout the procedure, but nitrous allows them to relax and be out of pain. When your child is fully relaxed, the dental procedure may seem to pass in the blink of an eye.

After Nitrous Oxide: What to Expect

After nitrous oxide, children usually feel like themselves again quite quickly. The effects may linger for a few hours, and it’s possible that your child may feel a mild amount of nausea. Children can have a light meal whenever they’re ready to eat after the appointment as long as all guidelines from the dentist are followed in regards to food choice. Your child should be monitored for around eight hours after the nitrous oxide was first administered to make sure that they’re feeling fine. If your child is ill or exhibits any unexpected symptoms, call the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida office right away for guidance.

Is Nitrous Oxide the Right Sedative For Your Child?

Many parents wonder whether nitrous oxide sedation is the best choice for their child’s dental procedure. The dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida are happy to discuss this with you. For most young patients, nitrous oxide is a particularly good choice because it’s very safe, only lasts for the day of the procedure, and is easy for even quite young children to tolerate well. You can relax and feel reassured that your child won’t be in pain or feeling a lot of anxiety if they have a dental procedure using nitrous oxide sedation.

Does Your Child Need to See the Dentist?

Looking for a new pediatric dentist or need to make your child’s first dental appointment? The team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is here to help. Patients in the Orlando area can call anytime to arrange an appointment with one of our caring and highly efficient pediatric dentists.