Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can reduce anxiety, calm a gag reflex, and make long appointments feel shorter. It can prevent children from feeling the local anesthetic and reduce the vibrations felt from a handpiece. Using nitrous oxide, some small cavities may be treated without local anesthetic. This is because nitrous oxide raises the pain threshold, so children may be more comfortable during treatment.
Your child breathes the gas in through a small mask placed over their nose and remains awake throughout treatment. Your child will smell a pleasant scent of their choosing and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Children may feel like they are dreamy or may report that their arms and legs feel “tingly.”
Nitrous oxide is extremely safe. At the end of treatment, it is completely eliminated by breathing 100% oxygen and has no after effects.