Nitrous Gas

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen

Nitrous oxide/oxygen- also known as ‘laughing gas,’ nitrous oxide is highly effective for giving children a sense of euphoria during their dental experiences. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a colorless gas that gives off a ‘sweet’ scent. It is administered throughout pediatric procedures under the oversight and care of a licensed professional. Whether your child has special needs, is afraid of the dentist or is simply too active to sit still through a dental treatment, nitrous gas sedation is a helpful tool for getting pediatric dental patients to relax and cooperate, while still allowing them to maintain a state of awareness.

How safe is nitrous oxide/oxygen?Frequently Asked Questions

Very safe.  Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry.  It is well tolerated, it has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic.  Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes and will be capable of responding to a question or request.

What should I expect when my child is sedated with nitrous?

Your child will be asked to breathe in a mixture of nitrous gas and oxygen from a mask at the beginning of his or her appointment. The amount of gas administered will be monitored and adjusted throughout treatment to help him or her relax while staying completely alert and responsive. Nitrous often makes children experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it may produce a feeling of euphoria or giddiness it is often called laughing gas.  It also has mild pain-relieving properties. At the end of the laughing gas treatment, oxygen is administered to help alleviate the effects of the gas in your child’s system and return him or her to a natural state of awareness.

Are there any special instructions prior to Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen treatment?

First, give your child little or no food in the two hours preceding the dental visit (occasionally nausea or vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach).  Second, tell your pediatric dentist about any respiratory condition that makes breathing difficult for your child as it may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen treatment.

Will I need to follow any special instructions when caring for my child following sedation?

No. Nitrous oxide/oxygen will naturally leave your child’s body within five minutes of stopping the flow of gas.

Will Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen work for all children?

Nitrous oxide/oxygen may not be effective for all children especially those with severe anxiety, nasal congestion, or discomfort wearing a nasal mask.