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Nitrous Oxide for Children

child-in-dental-chairIn cases where your child’s fear of getting necessary dental care is just too high, sedating them with nitrous oxide might be recommended. This sedation will make the entire procedure stress free and help give them a good experience from it.

Nitrous oxide is an invisible gas with a sweet smell. This gas has been employed in medicine for about a century now. It is efficient in putting patients under a state of conscious sedation (I.e., you will be fully awake but relaxed). The effect of the gas does not affect body function, and soon after the end of the procedure, it wears off.

How Is Nitrous Oxide Administered?


We administer nitrous oxide to a child through a small mask placed over their nose by which the gas is inhaled. The gas is mixed with oxygen at a safe level before being administered. The effect of the drug is felt almost immediately after inhalation, and your child might experience a little lightheadedness and feel some tingling in their hands and feet. Once the gas is in full effect, and your child is comfortable, the procedure will begin.

Nitrous oxide cannot serve as a substitute for local anesthetic as they only make anxiety go away. In some pediatric treatment, an anesthetic injection may be unnecessary when the child is already on nitrous oxide.

A child administered with nitrous oxide will be fully awake and be able to do everything they can typically do when not under the influence of the gas. After the procedure, the flow of nitrous oxide is cut off while increasing that of oxygen. After a few minutes, the effect reverses completely, and the child will be back to normal.

Who Can Benefit From Nitrous Oxide?

Some children’s anxiety level can make it almost impossible to have their required dental treatment. Such children can benefit from nitrous oxide. You will be asked to produce a complete medical history of your child before treatment. The dentist assures you of the safety of your child during the procedure. And in the end, you both will leave with smiles on your faces.

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