Searching for the best means for treating children has always been a high priority for dentists, as doing so means children can have a safe and enjoyable experience at the dentist. For families visiting their local dentist, sometimes children won’t always cooperate with their dentist, either by choice or through conditions such as dental anxiety. Parents searching for ways to help their children through their appointments may find that one option can help. Some dentists provide nitrous oxide, a form of conscious anesthesia that helps children relax during their appointments. But is it safe? We’re here to give you an inside look into what nitrous oxide is and why it’s still used today.
How Nitrous Oxide Is Used In Dentistry
Nitrous oxide is a colorless, slightly sweet-scented gas that produces mild sedation when inhaled. It provides sedation while allowing the patient to remain conscious throughout. Today, it is one of the most widespread anesthetics found in dental offices because of its safety and effectiveness during treatment. When the nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture is breathed in, the lungs absorb it and then transport the gas molecules to the brain through the bloodstream.
At least 70% of dental practices use nitrous oxide today in practices because of its many advantages. When used in a safe environment, nitrous oxide can provide numerous benefits for children during their visits to the dentist. These advantages include:
- Relaxed and Responsive: Most forms of sedation often place the patient unconscious. Nitrous oxide provides a pain-free experience that allows children to be active and responsive during checkups and treatments. Because of this, dentists can better direct children during cleanings and comfort children when faced with other treatments such as cavity cleanings and plaque removal.
- Quick Recovery Time: Once treatment is complete, children typically recover within a few minutes after their appointment. This short recovery time allows children to return back to their normal activities without any of the drowsy side effects often found with other sedation techniques.
- No Side Effects: Most of all, because of its lack of negative side effects, it is considered safe for children and adults to use during treatment. As a medically safe sedation method, patients under nitrous oxide can remain calm and even giddy at some points while receiving dental treatment.
Why Choose Nitrous Oxide For Dental Treatment?
Beyond the reasons mentioned, nitrous oxide has had a long medical history of use, and children with trouble at the dentist can easily get their teeth cleaned and maintain their beautiful smiles. Because of how safe it is, children with severe dental phobias can effectively receive treatment and become calmer throughout their checkups, creating a more positive experience for everyone involved. However, for those uncomfortable with the idea of gas sedation, your dentist can discuss other forms of helping your children during their treatment, including psychological wellness techniques, positive reinforcement, and more. If you have any other questions about dental sedation, dental treatments, and family care, contact your local general or family dentist for more information.