Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas or happy air. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation as a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety, produce analgesia, and enhance effective communication between a patient and health care provider.
Sometimes a child may feel slightly anxious before or during their dental treatment; this is very normal in children of all ages. Nitrous oxide can be utilized to create feelings of happiness and relaxation when inhaled through the nose. This allows for more effective communication to further decrease your child’s anxiety and nervousness. Nitrous oxide has an excellent safety record and is an effective agent for providing pharmacological guidance of behavior in children.
We recommend that your child only consumes light food 2 hours prior to their appointment so they won’t feel nausea or an upset stomach during their visit. At the conclusion of their treatment, nitrous oxide is turned off and your child will be breathing 100% oxygen for 5 minutes. This will eliminate the feeling of tingling and mild dizziness. Nitrous oxide does not have any lingering effect and children can continue with their normal daily routines afterward.