Caren Franz, D.M.D Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, serves as a widely utilized method for alleviating mild to moderate anxiety in children during dental procedures. The administration involves placing a small mask over the child’s nose, through which the gas is delivered. This method proves effective in calming anxiety levels.

During the procedure, the child is instructed to breathe through their nose, not their mouth. As the nitrous oxide takes effect, the child experiences a calming sensation while remaining awake and able to communicate with the dentist. This ensures a cooperative and stress-free environment for both the child and the dental practitioner.

At the conclusion of the dental appointment, the child resumes regular breathing with oxygen, and the effects of nitrous oxide dissipate. It’s important to note that nitrous oxide is a safe and reversible sedative, allowing for a quick return to normal functioning after its administration.

As a child grows older and becomes more accustomed to dental visits, the need for nitrous oxide may diminish. The use of laughing gas is often tailored to individual comfort levels, and as dental anxiety decreases over time, alternative methods may be considered for future appointments. Overall, nitrous oxide stands as a valuable tool in pediatric dentistry, providing a controlled and anxiety-reducing experience for young patients.

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