In the area where the local anesthetic is placed, the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep. Often, children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.
Monitor your child closely until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.
Nitrous oxide "Laughing Gas"
Nitrous oxide is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. When it is inhaled, it has a calming effect on children. The relaxed state it produces in the patient allows him/her to respond more favorably to treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is very safe. Your child will remain fully awake and alert and can respond easily to stimuli. It is eliminated quickly from the body with normal breathing.
Prior to the Nitrous Oxide Appointment
If your appointment is shortly after a mealtime, be sure to keep the meal healthy and light to help avoid an upset stomach.
Inform us of any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child as it may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide.
After the Nitrous Oxide Appointment
The nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five minutes or more to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Some children may experience minor nausea.