“How can laughing gas help my child feel better in the dental chair?” As a pediatric dentist in Warren, I get this question a lot from parents when their child must undergo a procedure. So, I’ll cover the basics and clear up any misconceptions in this blog.
Let’s start with dental fear. About 15% of children experience dread when it comes to their appointment at their pediatric dentist’s office. This fear can be attributed to a previous bad experience, challenging developmental or anxiety disorders, an intellectual disability, or simply fear of the unknown. No matter the cause, at Children’s Dental Specialists & Adult Dentistry, our caring and compassionate team is extremely dedicated to ensuring your child gets the care they require … and we understand that for many, dental anxiety or fear is not something you can “talk down.” That’s why laughing gas has proven so effective.
What is laughing gas and how does it work? This colorless gas effectively reduces pain and anxiety, and sometimes, patients feel a euphoric effect. (Hence the reason it earned its moniker!) To administer laughing gas, we place a comfortable mask over your child’s nose. He or she will feel the effect quickly and, once the mask is removed, its effects wear off rapidly.
Many kids enjoy it because …
- it produces a warm, tingly feeling
- they don’t remember the procedure (not the case for everyone)
- they don’t feel the pain of a freezing needle.
Is it safe? Yes, it’s very safe when administered by a team of dental professionals – like ours at Children’s Dental Specialists & Adult Dentistry – who will monitor your child throughout their visit.
Before we begin, we will need you to provide consent for sedation and the procedure. We’ll explain, in detail, why this form of sedation is necessary and if there are risks involved.
Some kids do feel nauseous or sick after receiving laughing gas. If that happens to your child, offer them a glass of water or other clear liquids to keep them hydrated. If your child vomits more than twice within the first hour after treatment, contact our team right away. And if you have any questions at any time, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone.
Yours in excellent dental health,
Dr. Christina Mazzone, your pediatric dentist in Warren & Chester