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Nitrous Oxide

Sometimes, nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, can be used with a nervous child. This laughing gas is a sweet smelling gas that helps your child to relax without going to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily breathed in, is quickly eliminated from the body and it is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and maintains all of his/her natural reflexes.

Prior to the Appointment

Please let us know about concerns regarding your child’s medical history. Please let us know if your child has a cold or any other respiratory issues that won’t allow him/her to properly breathe through his/her nose.

Outpatient General Anesthesia/ Treatment in the Operating Room

1) Your child should not eat anything after midnight, the night before procedure

  • This means No breakfast Friday morning; No snacks and No milk.
  • A patient can eat anything they want until 11:59pm on the evening before an O.R. dental procedure. Please do not give any food after that, until Dr. Maher has completed the recommended dental treatment.
  • The Anesthesia department should speak with you about giving sips of clear liquids prior to a dental procedure in the O.R. Acceptable clear liquids include: water or clear apple juice (only). Your child may have sips of water or clear apple juice on the morning of the dental procedure ONLY until 2 hours before the procedure.
  • If you have any concerns about the rules on "clear liquids", it would be better to not give anything throughout the night and call the surgery center first thing in the morning. We recommend you follow the instructions provided to you by the Anesthesia Nurse during your pre-op call. If you need to clarify any of their instructions, you can contact the Christiana Preop Prep team at 302-623-7700.
  • You should arrive at the time that was indicated to you. You do not need to arrive earlier so the patient does not have to wait longer than necessary.

2) Your child must be accompanied by a parent or court appointed legal guardian who must remain in the building at all times during the procedure.

3) Please feel free to bring any copies of paperwork which the child’s pediatrician has provided.

4) The Roxanna Cannon Arsht Surgery Center address is: 625 W. 12th Street, Wilmington, DE. 19801.

5) The Surgery Center's phone # is: 302-255-1000.

6) The Anesthesiology Department asks (whether a patient is male or female) that we remind all parents and legal guardians to be sure the child has no hair beads, or clips, or hair bands, or hats, or adornments in their hair for this day. This is because the patient will be lying down for a period of time while Dr. Maher is working on the teeth. The goal is to prevent anything from creating pressure to the back of the patient’s head while the patient is lying down for treatment.

7) The R.C.A. Surgery Center is located up the street from the Wilmington Hospital. They have free parking. [* R.C.A. stands for Roxana Cannon Arsht]. The address should be easy to find especially if you use GPS or Google Maps for directions.

8) Even though your child should not eat after midnight on the night prior to surgery: A parent/guardian may wish to pack something to eat and drink. This way you will have something to eat/drink during the time the patient is receiving dental treatment.

- Remember, please keep food and drink hidden and away from your child’s reach so that they will not be tempted that morning.

9) Please be sure to bring something that your child likes to play with so that she is calm before the surgery, and also calm in the car on your ride home. (Examples: a favorite toy, stuffed animal or doll; a favorite blanket; a coloring book and crayons; a book they like to read; a hand held game, phone, i-pod or tablet; ear buds for music, etc...)

10) On the morning of your child’s dental treatment in the O.R.:

Remember that a surgery team will be ready for you. If you must cancel a surgery treatment date you must provide 3 (three) business days advance notice, otherwise a fee will be assessed and we may not be able to reschedule.

If you need to call with concerns on the morning of the surgery, please call the Surgery Center directly at 302-255-1000

Note for the morning of the dental treatment in the O.R. :

  • Parents/Legal Guardians: Please keep your cell phone on and close-by. This is in the case Dr. Maher or the Surgery Center should need to call you. For example, if a first scheduled case would be cancelled or not show up, Dr. Maher will call the second case to arrive earlier.
  • If you have any concerns for your transportation, please have a Plan B. Please have an extra adult present to care for any other children that may come on the day of surgery as only the parent/legal guardian is allowed in the recovery room after surgery.
  • You may wish to let your child sleep until it's time to put them in the car. It's okay to bring the patient in pajamas, coat and slippers.
  • Please be sure to bring extra supplies which you may need. (examples: a sweater as the surgery center air condition will be on; pull ups and wipes for small children or infants.) An extra pair of underwear is recommended in case of an accident while the patient is under anesthesia.
  • If you would be bringing other small children with you to the surgery center, please be sure there is another adult with you to watch them. When your child begins to awaken from surgery, the nurses will call one parent or legal guardian to go be with them in the recovery area. No other children are allowed in the recovery area, only one parent or legal guardian. Therefore small children who remain in the front/waiting area must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Thank you for your understanding. Please call Dr. Maher’s office during business hours with any questions you may have. We are here to assist you as you navigate this process.