One option for our more nervous patients is the use of nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen nitrogen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their pediatric dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your pediatric dentist will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.
It is sometimes necessary to treat patients under general anesthesia in order to provide quality dental care in a safe setting. In order to accommodate those patients who cannot be safely treated in a dental clinic setting, the pediatric dentists at Bite Size Dental Care have operating room privileges at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital. During treatment patients are in the care of both the dentist and an experienced team of anesthesiologists and nurses.