Posted on 12/2/2019 by Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry
What is nitrous oxide? Nitrous oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) is a very safe and effective form of sedation. It is a compressed gas delivered with oxygen to the lungs through a nasal hood placed over the nose, aka. “happy air nose.” The effects are seen rapidly upon natural breathing and dissipate quickly upon termination of the gas at the end of treatment.
How will my child feel while on nitrous oxide? Nitrous oxide has a faint sweet smell and many children report a lightness or “tingly” feeling in their hands and feet. It also has pain-relieving effects and helps to depress a gag reflex. It provides a calming and sometimes euphoric effect that is extremely helpful at relaxing an anxious child.
Is nitrous oxide safe? Nitrous oxide is perhaps the safest of all sedatives available in dentistry today. It has been used for over 150 years! It is well tolerated, painless to administer, easy to monitor and rapidly reversible. Your child will remain completely conscious with all reflexes intact throughout administration. The post-treatment effects are minimal, as nitrous oxide quickly diffuses out of the blood into the lungs, then breathed out of the body.
How should my child prepare for nitrous oxide? We will give your child a “happy air nose” prior to the treatment appointment so that they can become comfortable wearing it. A small percentage of children report nausea with nitrous oxide after a heavy meal. Therefore, a light snack is recommended prior to treatment. Also, for the nitrous oxide to give its full-effect, your child should not have any nasal congestion and be able to breathe freely through his/her nose.