Local anesthesia refers to a topical and/or injected anesthetic that will affect only the targeted area for a brief period of time to minimize or eliminate sensation or pain in that specific “localized” area during a dental procedure.
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. Talk to the doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for your child.
General Anesthesia / Hospital Dentistry
General anesthesia is provided in a hospital setting and uses medications to allow the patient to be asleep while receiving dental treatment. Patients with special needs, extensive tooth decay, or undergoing surgical dental procedures may benefit from general anesthesia. 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.