Nitrous oxide is a gas, commonly known as ‘happy gas’ or ‘laughing gas’. Giving nitrous oxide is a way to help reduce a child’s pain and anxiety during dental treatment. Your child will breathe the gas through a small nosepiece that sits on their nose. You need to give consent. Children will recover quickly from the effects of the gas.
Permission to give sedation
As the parent or caregiver, you must give us consent for sedation and consent for the dental procedure. You need to understand the reasons for sedation and the following risks:
o We will carefully check your child’s breathing and if required, we will give your child oxygen through an oxygen mask.
Your child can have a light meal such as jelly, soup, or toast and a drink two hours before the procedure when possible.
What to expect
- Nitrous oxide sedation is done in the dental chair. Your child will breathe the sedation gas through a small nosepiece that sits on their It does not cover their mouth.
- The nitrous oxide makes children feel sleepy and relaxed.
- They will still be aware of what is happening around them but will feel more relaxed, dreamy and floaty, warm, have tingling in their hands and feet and maybe a bit They may not be able to remember the procedure.
- While giving the nitrous oxide, staff will monitor your child’s level of sedation to ensure that they can still cooperate and hold their mouth open.
- Dental treatment will be done in the usual Local anesthesia may also be used and can be given when the child is sedated.
Care after the procedure and at home
Your child will recover from the effects very quickly. Some children may feel a little nauseated and feel like they need a nap. If your child has had local anesthetic you should keep a close eye on him/her as they may want to play, pull, suck, pinch or bite the lip/cheek/tongue area as it is a strange sensation to them and they cannot feel any pain. If you see a localized swelling of the area of the lip that was numb, later that day, it is because they have caused trauma to the area (facial swelling presents quite differently and would indicate an allergy or abscess). Please call if you have any questions.
Key points to remember
- It is common for children to have sedation for procedures.
- You need to give consent before your child has sedation.
- Children recover quickly from the effects of nitrous oxide gas sedation, as the nitrous oxide is flushed out of his/her system with oxygen before they leave, which reverses the effects of the sedation.