Nitrous Oxide Sedation

What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

You may have heard of Nitrous Oxide, but it was probably called laughing gas. This is a substance commonly used for children while they get their teeth examined or treated. It helps them be more comfortable, especially if they are nervous or anxious during their visit to the dentist’s office.

How does nitrous oxide sedation work?

Oxygen and nitrous oxide are mixed together and delivered to a child through a mask they wear over their nose. The child can breathe through their nose, but not their mouth since the dentist will be working with it. Once the gas starts working, the child will settle down and become less nervous.

Is it safe to use?

It is safe to use nitrous oxide and it has a mild effect. It is also eliminated from the body quickly and easily. It will not render the child unconscious and it will not make them sleep, they will stay awake and be able to interact with the dental professional. Once the gas is turned off the effects wear off quickly. However, the dentist will let the oxygen continue to run in the mask for a few minutes just to be sure all the gas is eliminated from the child’s body.

There are some children who do not like to wear the mask. In these cases, alternative sedation measures should be used. Sometimes nitrous oxide makes a child feel sick. If your child is congested, the nitrous oxide might not be as effective.