Archive for September 2011

I Recently Treated Children In Israel!

Me and my new friends at The Trudi Birger Clinic

It’s that time of year again! I just returned from my trip to Jerusalem, Israel, where I volunteered for a week at the Trudi Birger Dental Clinic. I am a member of Dental Volunteers For Israel, a foundation that brings dentists together from all over the world to treat underprivileged children who need dental care. Thousands of children have been treated through DVI, and now can live each day without the pain of dental problems interfering with their life and schoolwork. The number of children in Israel who are suffering from serious dental health problems is staggering. If dental disease is left untreated, it will only become more serious and make these children more likely to suffer from medical problems which are linked to dental disease.

This was my second annual trip in conjunction with DVI, and it is something I am committed to doing and look forward to every year. The satisfaction in seeing the expressions on the faces of these sweet children as I help them and give them simple toys is something that really warms my heart. I am so grateful for the opportunity to give something back. Just as I hate to see children here in my community suffer from dental pain, I feel the same compassion for these children. This is why I love being a pediatric dentist. There is nothing like knowing that you helped a child, relieved their pain and helped them live a healthier and happier life!

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe For My Child?

Unfortunately, many children experience fear and anxiety about their visits to the dentist. Many children who are not generally anxious about their routine dental cleanings, experience anxiety regarding dental procedures such as fillings or extractions. There is a safe solution to help put these young patients at ease and allow them to comfortably tolerate dental procedures. Nitrous Oxide/oxygen, also commonly known as “laughing gas”, or “happy air” is a very common, safe, sedative drug which is used for children and adults.

Nitrous Oxide is a gas which has no odor and is inhaled by the patient before a procedure is started and continually inhaled throughout the procedure. After a few minutes of inhaling the gas, the patient starts to experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. They may even feel a little tingling in their arms and legs (which is perfectly fine). Nitrous oxide/oxygen raises a patient’s pain threshold and the patient may feel time passes more quickly.

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is one of the safest sedatives used in dentistry. It is well tolerated, it can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Nitrous oxide can also be used in conjunction with other sedative drugs when necessary. Your child will be conscious, aware and able to communicate with us at all times. When treatment is completed, the nitrous oxide is discontinued and oxygen is given to the patient. There are no lingering effects with nitrous oxide.

Kids can smile about visiting the dentist!

In my office, we sit and have a treatment planning discussion with parents before we attempt any dental restorative treatment. Though nitrous oxide is safe, it may not be the best option for children who are too anxious and will require more sedation. I am able to assess what will work best for your child’s specific dental and emotional needs. Read more about sedation with nitrous oxide and conscious sedation treatment by visiting We have so many resources at our disposal to help your child have a pleasant dental experience that there is no need for them to fear dental procedures.