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The goals are to protect the patient’s safety and welfare to minimize physical discomfort and pain, control anxiety, minimize psychological trauma and maximize compliant behavior and/or movement to allow safe completion of the procedure.


Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide (commonly called “laughing gas”) is a colorless, slightly sweet gas that is used during
dental treatment for relaxation and anxiety relief. Nitrous Oxide decreases fear, anxiety, apprehension,
and pain sensation by improving the ability for receptive communication. It also can produce sensations
of drowsiness, warmth and tingling in the hands, feet and/or about the mouth. It is a safe gas/oxygen
mixture which is inhaled and takes effect in 5 minutes and is eliminated from the body immediately
following the end of its administration. Your child remains fully conscious, is able to swallow, talk and
cough. It is non-addictive. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a
very safe, effective way of treating children’s dental needs, and it is used by numerous pediatric dentists.

The benefit of using nitrous oxide is to make it more comfortable for the patient to receive the necessary dental care with less pain, less gagging, and/or anxiety without putting them to sleep. Nitrous oxide is given through a small breathing mask (“nitrous nose” or “silly nose”) which must remain firmly in place during the entire period. Patients must focus on breathing through their nose and not through their mouth. No talking is allowed while nitrous oxide is being used since talking blows nitrous oxide into the room and lessening the desired effect for your child.

Prior to your child’s 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.
  • If your child is sick or has a stuffy nose, please let our office know, since we will need to reschedule their appointment.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
    (Patient must not be given medication that would cause drowsiness such as Benadryl or Xanax)
  • Pregnant women will be asked to remain outside of the room.


Conscious Sedation

Conscious Sedation is an option used by some offices. However because of the risks involved,
Dr. Mayes does not offer this option.


I.V. Sedation

I.V. Sedation is recommended for very apprehensive children, very young children, children with special needs, or children with large treatment plans that would not work well with nitrous oxide. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.
If I.V. Sedation is needed for your child, we will go over the necessary information with you by appointment.