Inhalation sedation is also known as the “happy gas”. It is an odorless mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen breathed through a nosepiece. It helps anxious children to feel relaxed and will make them more likely to accept dental treatment.
It is NOT general anaesthesia. Your child will remain conscious and be able to understand and respond to verbal commands
What will the child feel?
- 1. Relaxed
- 2. Floating
- 3. Slightly drowsy but not asleep
- 4. Slightly warm
- 4. Tingling in the feet and hands
Your child will be awake and conscious throughout the procedure.
Who can receive inhalation sedation?
- 1. Children who are unable to tolerate dental treatment with local anaesthetic alone
- 2. Children who are mild to moderately anxious about dental treatment
- 3. Children who have a sufficient level of understanding
- 4. Children who can breathe with their nose
- 5. Medical conditions where General Anaesthesia may be contra-indicated:
– Mild/moderate Asthma
– Liver disease
– Sickle cell anaemia/trait (check with consultant)
- 6. Patient with a strong gag reflex
- 7. Persistent fainting
- 8. Children with mild to moderate amount of dental treatment required
Who is NOT suitable for inhalation sedation?
- 1. Very young children and children unwilling or unable to co-operate
- 2. Moderate to severe learning difficulties
- 3. Severe asthma/pulmonary conditions/cystic fibrosis
- 4. Enlarged tonsils/adenoids
- 5. Recent eye operations 6-12 months
- 6. Otitis media
- 7. Severe muscular depression activity e.g. multiple sclerosis
- 8. Cold/rhinitis – unwilling/unable to nose breathe
- 9. Chemotherapeutic drugs –bleomycin, methotrexate
How quickly does it work?
Inhalation sedation takes a few minutes to become effective and patients also will take only a few minutes to recover from at the end of the procedure.
Inhalation sedation is a safe and recommended form of sedation for children.