Sedation can help foster a positive dental experience for children.
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
Our office is especially designed for children and adolescents, and many patients are calm, confident, and comfortable in our care. However, some children can feel anxiety due to the high pitch sounds used during suctioning and cavity removal. In addition to providing a warm and gentle environment, N2O is a safe and effective method that we offer. N2O is a safe blend of two gases – oxygen and nitrous oxide. When inhaled, it creates a calming effect. Once the gases are turned off, the sedating effect immediately dissipates, making N20 a great, short-lasting option.
What to expect
N2O is very effective, but occasionally it can cause nausea for the patient. Thus, the best time to use it would be earlier in the day, and on an empty or relatively empty stomach. N2O is given through a nose mask for the child to inhale. If the child prefers, they can select a fruity scent for their comfort. In addition, we provide headphones for entertainment so that the child has a fun and pleasant experience; some even forget they are in a dental office!
Is N2O safe?
N2O is very safe. N2O is non-addictive, and easily taken by the child. At the end of the procedure, our patients inhale oxygen for 5 minutes, which quickly eliminates the N2O from their body. The children remain fully conscious and maintain all natural reflexes.
N2O is awesome, but there are some situations where it is not implemented. Our doctors will review the child’s medical history thoroughly before the start of any sedation procedure. Typically, respiratory problems such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or sinus problems prevent the use of N2O.
In-Office General Anesthesia (IOGA)
Although we do our very best to treat and manage our patients dental needs, there are some children who are either too young, or whose dental treatment needs are too severe to treat with conventional behavioral management. When significant dental treatment is needed, IOGA may be recommended to make delivery of that required treatment possible and in a safe and comfortable manner.
Is IOGA Safe?
Yes, it is very safe. The actual risk of a fatal event under anesthesia (for an otherwise healthy child) is about 1 in 300,000. To put that number into perspective, the risk of fatality from an unexpected reaction to penicillin is about 1 in 80,000. The risk of a fatal automobile accident while riding in a car (in the United States, over a one year period) is about 1 in 6500.
We partner with Dr. Alexander Targ, a Stanford-trained medical anesthesiologist. Dr. Targ has an excellent reputation and practices at the highest clinical and professional standard. As we would trust him with our own children, we are confident that he is the best doctor to provide for our patients.