Children’s dentistry calls for a patient and gentle approach. Our primary aim is always to ensure that your child is at ease and completely comfortable before we proceed. At London Dental Smiles, our friendly staff will ensure that your children are as comfortable and happy as possible. Our treatment rooms have been designed to impart a calming ambience. Everything about it is intended to help your child relax in what may be an unfamiliar environment for them.
We encourage you to get your child into the habit of having regular dental checkups. Not only will this keep their teeth healthy and allow us to identify problems before they develop, but it gets your child accustomed to visiting the dental practice. Prevention is always preferable to treatment. As your child grows, our dental team will advise them on dental care and emphasise the importance of caring for their teeth.
Relative analgesia for children for a relaxed dental experience
Relative analgesia, also called “inhalation sedation”, involves the use of nitrous oxide and oxygen to make dental procedures more comfortable for the child. Relative analgesia doesn’t make the child fall asleep; instead it puts them in a completely relaxed state, enabling the dentist to proceed with the necessary treatment without putting the child through a traumatic or fearful experience.
Relative analgesia for children will be fully discussed by the dentist with parents, as well as with the child. We’ll usually show the child the equipment to be used for the relative analgesia procedure, to familiarise them with how it looks and works. That way, if the child later requires relative analgesia, they will know what to expect and will be at ease.
During the initial consultation, prior to any dental work being performed, we’ll discuss the treatment and will obtain the consent of parents for the use of relative analgesia along with the treatment/procedure.
How does relative analgesia work?
Inhalation sedation or relative analgesia is composed of a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen; the usual ratio is 70% oxygen and 30% nitrous oxide, although a 50% oxygen 50% nitrous oxide ratio is sometimes used in medicine (referred to as “entonox” or “gas and air”).
Relative analgesia in dentistry works as a maintained level of conscious sedation, raising the patient’s threshold for pain and placing them in a relaxed state – without falling completely asleep in the process.
How is relative analgesia administered?
A rubber mask is fitted over the child’s nose and mouth area. The rubber mask should be comfortably fitted so that it allows the child to inhale the oxygen and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) while the dentist proceeds with the necessary dental treatment at the same time. The inside part of the rubber mask usually has an attractive scent such as mint, vanilla or strawberry to make the experience a more pleasurable one for the child. Throughout the procedure, the child will be conscious of their surroundings and will be able to understand any instructions coming from the dentist, but will be in a completely relaxed and comfortable state.
The equipment used to administer relative analgesia is composed of a supply of the compressed gases (nitrous oxide and oxygen) and the apparatus (connected to the rubber mask) which will deliver the gases. The dentist, along with a properly trained and certified dental nurse, will control the desired mix and quantities of the nitrous oxide and oxygen. The flow of compressed gases will be monitored with the help of pressure gauges and flow meters.
Who will benefit from relative analgesia?
Children who require dental treatment or a procedure will benefit from the use of relative analgesia if they:
● Have a moderate or severe fear of going to the dentist, or of undergoing a dental treatment
● Require tooth extractions, which might cause them to feel fearful or anxious during the procedure
● Have a strong gag reflex that may make it difficult for the dentist to proceed with the dental treatment effectively. The strong gag reflex may also result in a negative or traumatic experience for the child.