2421 Ford St, Golden, CO 80401

Using Nitrous Oxide for pediatric dentistry




The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation as safe and effective. Commonly known as "laughing gas", a combination of nitrogen and oxygen is administered to the patient with a fitted mask that goes over the child's nose.

This technique can:

  • Reduce or eliminate anxiety
  • Raise the pain threshold, making the child more comfortable during procedures
  • Increase tolerance for longer appointments
  • Reduce untoward movement and reaction to dental treatment
  • Reduce gagging

Nitrous oxide is a colorless and virtually odorless gas with a faint, sweet smell. Our dental assistant will have your child choose a bubble gum, cherry, banana or strawberry scent to help make the experience even more pleasant. 

Your child may feel:

  • Relaxed
  • Warm
  • Silly
  • Happy
  • Tingly in hands and feet
  • Heaviness or lightness
  • Sleepiness

Nitrous has a quick onset and is completely adjustable , so that the right dose is given for every child. Once the dental procedure is completed, it is reversed by having the child breath in oxygen for a couple of minutes. Motor skills and attention can be affected for as long as 15 minutes after you stop breathing nitrous oxide. After this, your child is fine to return to school.

As with any medical procedure, inform our office of medical conditions or allergies. Children with stuffy noses cannot receive nitrous oxide. Gas enters your lungs through nasal passages, so sinuses must be clear. Nitrous oxide is not recommended for children with certain lung conditions. 



Maximizing dental benefits and using remaining benefits



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Understand your plan:

Be sure to review the booklet given to you by your insurer that contains all the information about your coverage. Insurers also usually offer easy to understand benefit summaries online. We understand that maximums, deductibles and out of pockets percentages can be confusing. Be proactive in getting answers about your dental insurance so that you can both anticipate costs and use benefits before they are gone.

Choosing the right dentist or orthodontist for your plan:

PPO, DMO or HMO can again be confusing. Choosing a dentist that is in network with your plan is key to maximizing or even being able to use your dental insurance. HMO and DMO's require selection of one primary network dentist. Being in network means the dentist has agreed to in network fees and this means that your percentage out of pocket or co payment is less because the fee is less compared to an out of network provider. Some dental plans have multiple networks and their dentists may participate in all or only some of them. Before scheduling as a new patient or scheduling after an insurance change, make sure to contact the provider to verify that they are in network with your plan.

Take advantage of benefits:

Diagnostic and preventative dentistry are usually covered by your insurer at 80% to 100% and for PPO plans, the deductible is waived for most of these D&P procedures too.  Make sure you and your family schedule allowable cleanings, exams and x rays when due. Procedures like sealants for children are also considered preventative and  a great way to prevent chewing surface cavities. Dental problems get worse when not diagnosed or when not treated. Delaying treatment means more extensive work that will need to be done in the future and this means more cost. 

Use it or lose it:

Your dental plan gives you and the members of your family an annual maximum of what can be spent on dental care. These maximums are typically reset at the end of the year, and if you have unused benefits, they will be forfeited. When your plan rolls over, you are required to pay your deductible again before you can start taking advantage of benefits once again. If you have work that needs to be done and have met your deductible, don't put it off...schedule it. Another reason to use your benefits now is because it is always possible that fees will be raised in the new year. An increase in fees can also raise your co pay.

Reasons for tooth decay

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Cavities, also called tooth decay or carries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth.  

Tooth decay begins with a group of germs called mutans streptococcus.  The bacteria feed on sugar and produce acid that eats away at the structure of teeth by depleting calcium.  The bacteria also creates plaque that builds up on teeth and contains even more eroding acid.  

Babies are born without any of these harmful bacteria in their mouth. Studies have proven that parents typically infect their children before age 2.  This happens when saliva is transferred to a child's mouth.  Sharing food, drinks, and tooth brushes can cause the transfer of bacteria.  Some bacteria is worse then other and may explain why some people get cavities while others do not.

Regardless of family history or bacteria present in the mouth, it is extremely important to brush, floss and use fluoride.  It is also extremely important to see a dentist early. A good relationship can help prevent decay and catch dental problems early. About 40% of 2 to 5 year olds have cavities. Pediatric dentists recommend regular check ups to identify decay and other dental conditions before they cause troubling problems. The sooner you seek care, the better your chances of preventing progression.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Association recommends your child see a dentist by his/her first birthday.