At Orange County Children’s Dentistry, we strive to provide the highest quality of care to your infant, child or adolescent. We recognize that every child is unique, and it is our goal to provide personalized care to make their dental experience a positive one. We will utilize our expert training to deliver care with minimal discomfort. When a child expresses anxiety or discomfort we are proud to provide sedation techniques. We offer nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation and general anesthesia. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation as a safe and effective way to mildly reduce a child’s anxiety, tolerate painful procedures better, and to aid in improving the communication between a patient and doctor. Sometimes nitrous oxide/inhalation may not be sufficient to calm a child. In these cases, general anesthesia may be recommended.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation
Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is a colorless gas with a faint, sweet smell that is administered through a nasal hood. Most children can tolerate it very well and it is very safe for use in a dental office. Nitrous oxide “takes the edge off” of dentistry by providing mild pain relief and also helps reduce anxiety.
Nitrous oxide has rapid onset and recovery time. It will start working as soon as the patient is able to take calm, deep breathes in and out of the nasal hood and the effects subside once the nasal hood is removed.
There are several advantages to nitrous oxide. It is known to be effective for children who are anxious when it comes to receiving dental work for the very first time, when they are having extensive dental work done, have previously been anxious when visiting dental offices, when they have multiple office visits, or if they have strong gag reflexes.
Disadvantages to nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation may include: the lack of potency or an upset stomach. Please be sure that your child does not have a heavy meal prior to their dental appointment. We advise not eating 2-3 hours prior to the appointment.
General anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist who will administer drugs in a controlled state of patient unconsciousness. The anesthesiologist will continuously monitor the patient’s vital signs, airway patency, cardiovascular status, neurological status, and ventilation. General anesthesia can be administered in an office or hospital setting. It allows your child to remain completely unaware of the procedure taking place and prevents patient discomfort during the procedure. General anesthesia is typically used in cases where children require extensive dental treatment, are highly anxious, uncooperative due to their young age, or who may be developmentally delayed.