Dd got four cavities filled this past winter in Jan/Feb. She turned 3 in April. We used nitrous oxide and she did SO good-I seriously couldnt' believe it. But, this was the third dentist we tried! At 2 and 3 or 4 months old, we tried the nitrous with dentist #1 and she flipped out, wouldn't even sit in the chair, screaming, etc.-there was no way, plus I was really unhappy with the dentist. So we went to dentist #2 and they recommended general anesthesia, but offered conscious sedation (with Versed if I remember correctly). I wasn't thrilled with either option and the denstist really pushed GA based on dd's "performance" in his office.
We were in the midst of doing the paperwork when dp found another dentist to try just based on their ad in the paper. We went in for the exam and dd was so cooperative and really felt comfortable there. We went back and did the procedure with nitrous and like I said, it went amazingly well. I was also allowed to sit right there with her and she watched cartoons and kept her mouth open with no problem for the 45 min or so it took. Also, they used a nose thing to hook up to the nitrous, and they gave it to us after the first appt so that we could spend the week practicing with it, which I think really made a difference.
So anyway, all this to say that the nitrous might be an option after all-we had totally ruled it out too, but it turned out really well. I was freaked out about both sedation and the GA, but honestly would try sedation first before I did GA, I dont' know why but that really scares me! Maybe because I would have been allowed to be there for the sedation, but was told I couldn't go back with her for the GA. Anyway, good luck, I was there and this is an awful decision to make!