Is your child deathly afraid of the dentist? That’s not surprising, quite a few adults are too. When it comes to children, though, the fear can get in the way of the treatment. Some dentists opt to sedate children to make the procedure less traumatic for them.

Nitrous Oxide is a time-tested way to sedate a patient. As a parent, though, you probably wonder about whether or not it is safe for your child.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Pediatric Dentistry?

Nitrous Oxide is considered a safe method of sedation in general. When applied correctly, the after-effects are fleeting. The gas slows the time it takes your child’s body to react. They’ll feel calm and slightly euphoric.

The benefit of using Nitrous Oxide is that it’s fast-acting. The child will feel the effects within a couple of minutes. The effects of the gas wear off quickly as soon as the gas is shut off.

The effects on adults and children are very similar. The side effects include:

  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Shivering
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Children will often feel slightly disoriented after the treatment. They’re also likely to be a bit irritable. The good news is that these side effects wear off very quickly.

When is Nitrous Oxide Contraindicated?

If your child has a chronic respiratory problem, such as chronic bronchitis, tell your dentist. If they have asthma, tell your dentist. The dentist can still use gas when these conditions are present. They’ll have to do so very carefully, however.

When your child relaxes, their breathing slows. If the air passageways are partially blocked, this could mean that they don’t get enough air to breathe.

As a general rule, we recommend telling the dentist about any conditions that your child currently has. It’s also good practice to make a list of chronic medications that your child takes with you.

The dentist will be able to determine if there’s anything to be concerned about.

Final Notes

Nitrous Oxide is a safe sedation method as long as it’s applied correctly.  Your child may also appear a little disoriented and irritable after receiving the gas, but these effects wear off fast. Overall, as long as you choose an experienced dentist, your child is in good hands.