Nitrous oxide, or happy gas (also known as laughing gas), is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in children. Administered through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose and not through their mouth. As the gas begins to work, your child will become calm, although he or she will still be awake and able to talk with the dentist. At the end of your child’s appointment, he or she will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable during dental visits, nitrous oxide may not be necessary.

Our Pediatric Dentist has received advanced training in behavior management techniques recommended and accepted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

Oral Sedation and Happy Gas: This works best for healthy children with high fear or anxiety and for whom basic behavior guidance techniques are not very successful. This is also used for children who do not have good coping skills or are very young and do not understand how to cope cooperatively with the delivery of dental care. This management technique uses medication(s) that reduces anxiety and discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be pretty tired and fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.

Anesthesia Dentistry: General Anesthesia in an Office setting is a controlled state of unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement, and discomfort during dental treatment. This is conducted outpatient at a surgery center or hospital, with the appropriate anesthesia staff and physicians trained to deliver anesthesia, monitor your unconscious child, and manage complications. Precautions are taken to protect your child during general anesthesia for their dental care. This type of anesthesia is the same as if they were having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. The risks here are more significant than other treatment options. Still, if this option is recommended for your child, then the benefits of treatment with general anesthesia outweigh the risks. This type of behavioral management is recommended only for a child who needs dental treatment and is very cooperative and apprehensive, very young, or with special needs.