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Recommendations on Pain Med for 5 year old
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An_246365 posted:
My son has several cavities and the dentist has suggested nitrous oxide or novacaine as options. I'm nervous about any pain med at this aage. Are there known risks of administering such meds at this age? Longer term effects that anyone has experienced/are aware of?

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Have you used pain meds for your children? If so, what have you used?
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  • nitrous oxide
  • novacare oral
  • novacaine
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Zev Kaufman, DDS responded:
Dear An_246365:

As a parent, I do understand your concern. However, this is absolutely NOT a poll question.

Allow me to help you in properly reasoning this, since as parents we all get emotional.

Nitrous Oxide sedation (sweet air, laughing gas, etc.) is PERFECT for children. It is a gas that is inhaled, it acts fast and gets your child relaxed and less fearful of the dentist. It stops acting essentially as soon as the dentist turns the pump off.

It is ideal for children, since it has no side effects at the very low dosages and minimal exposure your child will get.

Lidocain (Novocain has not been used in over 30years), again at the dosages we use for children and adults is essentially harmless. After the child is relaxed with Nitrous Oxide, Lidocain can be given to make sure that your child is not in any pain during the procedure.
If these measures are not taken, two things will happen:

1. Attempting to treat your child will be a painful and permanently mentally scarring experience, which the child will carry into adulthood, and will end up with many dental problems.

2. Leaving your child's cavities unattended to will lead to many compound dental problems.

If your child is not brought back into proper dental health, and proper dental home care and dentist visit, the damage psychologically and physically will be extensive.

Unfortunately, most people who I treat as a Prosthodontist are in trouble with their dental health as a result of psychological trauma cased by improper dental treatment as children.

We all think that our children are special, but lets face the facts that every day millions of children are properly treated by pediatric dentists and will trained general dentists in the same manner, using nitrous oxide sedation and local anesthetic without any problems. Your child's treatment should be no different.

The only long term effect is the effect of no-treatment or improper treatment.

I do recommend that since your child is 5 years old, that you go and have the treatment done by a pediatric dentist, since the pediatric dentist is specially trained to properly handle your child and give him the best experience with dentistry for a good dental future.

Best of luck, and please have your child treated properly.

Dr. Zev Kaufman


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