Marshfield sedation dentistry

What Sedation Services Do You Offer?

Nitrous Oxide

At Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry we offer nitrous oxide sedation also known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide and oxygen are administered through a nasal gas mask and inhaled by the patient. Within a few minutes, the patient will feel the onset of the sedative’s effects, which include:

  • Feeling calm & relaxed
  • A sense of euphoria
  • Giddiness
  • Laughter
  • Possible visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Decreased awareness of surroundings
  • Lack of memory of the procedure
Mother showing her son how to open his mouth for the dentist

Sedation for More Efficient Dental Work

Benefits of Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is most commonly used to treat dental anxiety and avoidance of the dentist due to past trauma in a dental setting. Nitrous oxide is a great sedative for children because it is mild and does not put the child to sleep. 

Though your child will be fully awake during the procedure, aware of their surroundings, and able to respond to questions, they may not remember what happened once the sedative has worn off due to the sedative’s amnesic effect. This can be a preferable situation for patients with anxiety because it can alleviate the anticipative anxiety for future dental appointments.

Dental sedation has many other advantages, such as:

  • Reducing pain sensitivity
  • Alleviate sensitive gag reflex
  • Helping uncooperative children sit for long treatments
  • Alleviating restlessness
  • Allowing the dentist to get more work done in fewer appointments
  • Makes patients less avoidant of necessary dental work
  • The sedative has a quick onset and wears off quickly
Child after a dental filling


How Do I Prepare for Nitrous Oxide?

One of the potential side effects of nitrous oxide is nausea. To avoid nausea and vomiting, your child should fast for at least 2 hours before receiving the sedative. If they eat a meal before receiving nitrous oxide, try to keep it light with something like toast. Inform Dr. Julie Hantson of your medical history and any medications you are taking ahead of your appointment.


What are the Lingering Effects?

The effects of nitrous oxide will wear off rather quickly. Dr. Julie Hantson will flood your child’s gas mask with a flow of pure oxygen which will get rid of any remaining nitrous oxide in the body within about 3-5 minutes. 

They will feel back to normal pretty quickly but should stay hydrated by drinking water to avoid nausea. Your child is also free to eat as soon as the local anesthesia has worn off depending on the dental procedure but it is best to avoid eating a heavy meal for the first 3 hours. Monitor your child for the rest of the day because they may feel fatigued.

Is Dental Sedation Safe?

Who Makes a Good Candidate

Nitrous oxide is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most people, including children. People with certain medical conditions, on certain medications, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not considered good candidates. 

Dr. Hantson will discuss your child’s medical history and if they take any medications during their consultation to determine if they are a good candidate. Nitrous oxide is considered the best sedative for use in pediatric dentistry because it is a mild sedative that wears off quickly. 

When administered by a professional dentist who is highly trained in the administration of sedatives, how to monitor your child’s vitals during the procedure, and how to respond in emergencies such as adjusting dosages as needed, this sedative is considered very safe.

To find out if your child would benefit from nitrous oxide sedation, contact us at Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Julia Hantson.

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