Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide is a safe and conservative way to help children feel more at ease in a dental office setting.  It consists of an odorless gas that’s delivered through a silicon nasal hood placed over the child’s nose.  Within minutes the patient may feel giddy and euphoric, some kids feel like they’re flying in the air.  Nitrous is given in conjunction with oxygen and the gas/oxygen combination is kept flowing throughout the entire duration of the dental procedure.  The patient stays awake but just feels happy and relaxed.  Towards the end of the procedure nitrous is turned off so the child can breathe 100% oxygen for 5 minutes to clear out all the nitrous gas in the body.  The child can go on with normal daily activities after the appointment and there is usually no after-effects.

We utilize nitrous oxide in situations where our patient is generally cooperative but nervous.  Nitrous is also an excellent tool to suppress the gag reflex which is pretty common in kids with small mouth or large tonsils.  With these children, simply the sensation of placing a small intra-oral mirror in the mouth can make them gag or choke.  With nitrous however they can usually tolerate most dental procedures comfortably.

Here is a picture of a child on laughing gas:

 

 

If you have any questions regarding nitrous oxide, please contact me in my Las Vegas pediatric dentistry office at (702)242-2436.