Nitrous Oxide (“Laughing Gas”)
For children who need help with reducing anxiety or undergoing longer appointments, nitrous oxide is a safe and easy to administer solution. Nitrous oxide can also help children reduce their gag reflex, in turn making it easier for them to tolerate dental instruments in their mouths. A few other benefits achieved through the use of nitrous oxide are: a reduction of untoward movement and it can help to decrease pain and sensitivity.
Patients remain completely conscious when under the treatment of nitrous oxide. They are able to fully respond to questions and react to stimuli. Eating prior to treatment with nitrous oxide is not recommended and should avoid heavy meals due to nausea being a side effect that occurs in 0.5 percent of patients.
At the end of every visit with nitrous oxide, 100% oxygen is administered for 5 minutes in order to completely flush the body of the gas. The child will leave his or her appointment completely free of nitrous oxide and its effects.