Is Nitrous Oxide Right for Your Child?
Our dentists are extremely experienced in working with children who have special needs or simply suffer from dental anxiety. They will always make recommendations based on your child’s specific needs. Our dentists may recommend nitrous oxide if your child:
- Is too anxious to sit still during dental procedures
- Understand the need to complete dental work but isn’t able to relax without help
- Has a medical condition that requires nitrous oxide during dental work
- Previous attempts at treatments without nitrous oxide have been difficult
At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we know every child is different. Your child’s dentist will get to know you and your child, evaluate your child’s specific situation, and make a recommendation based on your child’s needs and best interests. Your child’s comfort, health, and safety are our top priorities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does nitrous oxide differ from conscious sedation dentistry?
Both conscious sedation dentistry and laughing gas (nitrous oxide) help children relax during dental procedures. With conscious sedation dentistry, children become very drowsy or even fall into a light sleep. With nitrous oxide, on the other hand, your child will be fully conscious throughout the entire procedure.
Conscious sedation dentistry is often used for children who are unable to undergo dental work even with the aid of nitrous oxide.
Is nitrous oxide safe?
Yes, it is very safe. Our dentists undergo extensive training during dental school that prepares them to safely administer nitrous oxide to patients of all ages. We will carefully monitor your child throughout the procedure to make sure he or she is comfortable and relaxed. We encourage you to ask your dentist about any concerns you may have.
Is nitrous oxide recommended for children affected by Autism?
At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we work with many children who are on the Autism Spectrum, and we know that dental work can be especially difficult for them.
As always, our dentists will make a recommendation based on your child’s individual situation; however, many children with Autism need sedation than nitrous oxide alone cannot provide. In those cases, conscious sedation dentistry or general anesthesia may better meet their dental needs.
Do you accept insurance or Medicaid?
Yes! We accept Medicaid as well as many other insurance plans, including those from:
- United Concordia
- Delta Dental
What should I do to prepare for my child’s appointment?
Your child’s dentist will give you a full list of pre-operative and post care-operative instructions. These may include the following:
- Discuss your child’s full medical history with the dentist to help determine if nitrous oxide is the best fit
- Bring a list of all your child’s current medications (both prescription and over the counter)
- Notify us of any sudden change in your child’s health (such as getting a cold or flu)
- Have your child wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to make it easy to apply patient monitors
- Make sure your child avoids food and drink a few hours before and after the appointment
- Watch for nausea, extreme drowsiness and other side effects after your child’s treatment
How long does nitrous oxide take to wear off?
Nitrous oxide wears off very quickly once administration is discontinued, so there is no prolonged drowsiness or dizziness after the procedure. Your child will remain on 100% oxygen for several minutes at the end of the procedure for observation to assure your child is ready to be sent home. In fact, your child will stop feeling the effects of laughing gas long before the numbness of local anesthesia wears off.