At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we offer nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to help children feel comfortable during their dental treatments. Laughing gas is often the best method for children because it helps them feel relaxed and comfortable during anxiety-provoking dental visits. Laughing gas is used along with Novacaine. It is not a substitute for Novacaine.
What is Laughing Gas?
Nitrous oxide (nitrogen and oxygen) is the same colorless gas used as a food additive in items such as whipped cream. Laughing gas is a form of nitrous oxide that is administered to children using a facemask that goes over the nose. After the mask is in place, your child will smell a sweet smell and begin to feel relaxed or giddy. Nitrous oxide slows down body functions and raises the pain threshold, which makes a patient more comfortable during the procedure, and prior to an injection. After the dental treatment is over, we will give your child pure oxygen to reverse the effects of the laughing gas. Your child will receive pure oxygen for approximately 3-5 minutes.
What are the Benefits of Laughing Gas?
Many patients, especially children, might feel anxious before and during a dental procedure. Laughing gas is used because it is a safe and effective option to help relax children who are anxious about their dental procedure. It’s administered non-invasively, unlike general anesthesia which requires nitrous oxide and an IV.
Laughing gas also reduces the gag reflex, which can help children who feel as if they are going
to throw up during treatment. It is very safe and can be reversed quickly with pure oxygen if
needed. Afterward, children are free to return to daily activities without feeling any side effects
from the sedation.
When is Laughing Gas Used?
Laughing gas is often used during invasive dental procedures such as extractions and baby root canals, but we can use it for other procedures such as fillings for any child who might feel nervous coming to the dentist. There are no adverse effects with this substance, so the use of nitrous oxide is safe.
Contact Us Today
If you would like more information regarding laughing gas at our office, contact us today! We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about nitrous oxide use during your child’s dental appointment.
Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.