If you ask an adult to list what their biggest fear is, usually a “fear of the dentist” will feature highly within that list. Children quite often express a similar fear of the dentist, and bizarrely, this is often without having had any experience of dentists or dental treatment. Maybe it’s because of what they hear from us adults, and also the fact that dentists are usually associated with having a drill and sharp instruments!
This fear, and how we manage it, is what prompted us to introduce a treatment called Inhalation Sedation to the practice.
What is Inhalation Sedation?
Inhalation Sedation (or “happy air” as its also known) in dental treatment helps alleviate dental anxiety in children.
How it works…..
The process involves the child breathing in a special “happy air” (nitrous oxide and oxygen) through a small nose piece. This in turn leads to a pleasant, relaxed floating feeling- much like day dreaming. Most children become less aware of their surroundings making the dental treatment easy and comfortable for them.
If your child is having a filling or a tooth removed under local anaesthetic ( tooth numbing solution also known as the “injection” ), the breathing of the “happy air” will take most of the anxiety associated with this away for the child, thus making it more tolerable. It is important to note that we will still need to use local anesthetic in most situations.
Who would benefit from Inhalation Sedation?
Inhalation sedation works very well with children who have a mild to moderate dental anxiety. It also works well for children who have a gag reflex that interferes with dental care. Children with certain special needs have benefited greatly from the process. In all instances, your child must be willing to co-operate for inhalation sedation to be useful for them.
How will my child feel after the treatment?
Once the gas is turned off, the effects wear off quickly. By the time your child leaves the practice at the end of their treatment the “happy air” should be out of their system.
Is the treatment safe?
Inhalation sedation is very safe. It works quickly, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non allergenic. While sounds and noises will seem more distant, your child will not go asleep and will be aware of their surroundings throughout the dental treatment.
How will it help my child in the long term?
We strongly believe in the use of inhalation sedation treatment when appropriate to improve a child’s comfort during treatment and to allow treatment to be carried out as easily as possible in order to build a child’s confidence in the dental surgery until such a point that they can have treatment without it.
Dr Daisy McCarthy is our dentist with a special interest in children’s dentistry who is highly trained and experienced in treating children under inhalation sedation. You can read all about her here. If you would like further information on inhalation sedation for your child please contact us on T: 01 4542022 or alternatively if you would like to book an appointment with Dr. McCarthy you can book online here.