Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is widely used in pediatric dental offices with children receiving dental care to help decrease anxiety. It is a blend of two gases — nitrous oxide and oxygen – and is safely delivered via a nasal mask. It is safe, has a rapid onset, and is quickly eliminated from the body after a short period of breathing oxygen. The nitrous oxide acts to change the nitrogen levels in the body and creates a slight “happy” feeling in children; it does not put your child to sleep.
General anesthesia may be recommended for children with extensive dental needs, certain medical conditions, special needs, and for some children who cannot cooperate in the office while awake. With this technique, children are asleep and all dental work is completed at one time under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. Dr. Chang can discuss the risks and benefits of general anesthesia to help you decide if this is a good choice for your child.