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Nitrous Oxide Sedation

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Children who are very young or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the dentist to perform treatment may require some level of sedation. In contrast to general anesthesia (which renders the child unconscious), dental sedation is only intended to reduce the child’s anxiety and discomfort during dental visits, while the child's reflexes remain fully capable.  Sedation may also be helpful for patients with special needs. There are many safe and effective drugs available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment.

Conscious sedation is an option for children who are older (three years and above) and are mildly apprehensive. This highly effective method can be administered in an inhalation method using nitrous oxide (N20-02), also known as "laughing gas" and "sweet air." Because nitrous oxide, is a gas, it is exhaled from the from the body as soon as the nosepiece is removed, and there are no lasting effects. Patients utilizing nitrous oxide are typically scheduled in the morning hours, as they are unable to eat or drink before the treatment.

Deep sedation is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. Our practice utilizes a certified anesthesiologist in a hospital setting for cases where the patient may pose a threat to their own safety during treatment. This will be discussed with the parent or guardian of the patient before treatment to ensure the optimum beneficial outcome. To learn about about in-patient general anesthesia, click here. For information regarding hospital dentistry, click here.

Nitrous oxide sedation is most helpful for:

  • Infants
  • Children who require major treatment.
  • A very anxious child.
  • Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion).
  • Children with a strong gag reflex.
  • Children who are medically compromised or have special needs.

Winning Smiles Locations

Winning Smiles operates conveniently located pediatric dentistry offices in BuffaloAmherst and Orchard Park. Call (716) 332-2444 to make your appointment with our dental professionals!