Sedation Dentistry for Children

Pediatric Services

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe sedation agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over your child’s nose. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide allows the patient to breathe normally through their nose, and within minutes they should start to feel the effects. They may feel light-headed or notice a tingling in their arms and legs. Some patients comment that their legs and arms feel heavy. Ultimately, they should feel comfortable and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the mask is removed.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental care needs.Talk to the doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for your child.

Nitrous Oxide / Laughing Gas can:

  • Reduce gagging
  • Reduce or eliminate anxiety
  • Enhance communication and cooperation
  • Raise a patient’s pain threshold
  • Increase patient ability to tolerate longer treatment times 
  • Assist in the treatment of special needs patients.

Preparing your child for their  appointment:

  • No eating or drinking for 3 hours prior to their scheduled appointment.
  • Please notify our team of any medical conditions that make it more difficult for your child to breathe.
  • Please be sure to inform our team of any change in your child’s health/medical condition.

General Anesthesia / Hospital Dentistry

IV Sedation, also called general anesthesia, uses medications to allow the patient to go to sleep while receiving dental treatment. Patients with high levels of anxiety or with special needs may benefit from IV Sedation. General anesthesia can also be a good option for patients with extensive tooth decay or for patients who are undergoing surgical dental procedures. Your child’s doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of general anesthesia to help you decide if this is a good choice for your child.

We offer hospital dentistry at both RWJ University Hospital and Monmouth Medical Center.