Pediatric Dentist Dr. Sandra Schwann serving infants, children and teens in Calgary, AB T2W 3X6 and the surrounding areas.

 

Nitrous Oxide  Conscious Sedation  |  Outpatient General Anesthesia

 

NITROUS OXIDE

Some children are given nitrous oxide/ oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/ oxygen is a blend of two gases: oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask, which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then, with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/ oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. Before the end of the appointment, 100% oxygen will be administered to your child to quickly reverse any effects of the nitrous oxide.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to your child’s health and or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/ oxygen.
  •  Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment Please no eating and drinking at least 2-3 hours before appointment.

CONSCIOUS SEDATION

Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be drowsy, and on rare occasion fall asleep, but will not become unconscious. The dentist will administer the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning our conscious sedation procedure.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/ or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the dentist of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/ or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before appointment. Milk is considered a solid food.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
  • Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Hold them in your lap or keep them close to you. Do not let them “run around.”
  • Your child may act drowsy and become unstable; your child may become slightly excited at first.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child may be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. Start first with clear liquids, then, progress to a light and easily digestible meal.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and / or rub and scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

OUTPATIENT GENERAL ANESTHESIA

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or nitrous oxide/ oxygen. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. Studies have also shown that the risks are further decreased for children when a pediatric anesthesiologist performs the anesthesia in a hospital facility. The inherent risks of this, if not chosen, are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/ or change in medical history. Please also inform doctor of any family history involving problems with general anesthetic.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. Stay with clear liquids until your child presents with no nausea, nor vomiting. Clear liquids can include clear broth, popsicles, and gelatin. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit. When vomiting occurs, encourage only liquids.
  • Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of “Post-Op Instructions” and an emergency contact number needed.
  • Please call our dental office the next day to set up a post-op appointment in 2-3 weeks following dental surgery.