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Laughing Gas

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Nitrous Oxide (“Laughing Gas”):

Dr. Richards may recommend “Laughing Gas,” which is also known as nitrous oxide. Laughing Gas produces a mild sedation that comfortably relaxes most children. Pediatric dentists utilize it because it is very safe, painless, and effective very quickly after a few minutes.

Here are the steps to delivering Laughing Gas:

  1. Pediatric dentists use kid-friendly language to help your child understand.
  2. The laughing gas nosepiece, or “popsicle nose,” is introduced.
  3. A pleasant fruit aroma may be chosen like grape or bubblegum.
  4. Your child is gently instructed to take deep smells in and out of their nose.
  5. When combined with watching TV or Netflix, we find many children are distracted and relaxed.
  6. The size of the nitrous oxide nosepiece allows their field of vision to focus on the overhead TV.
  7. We use age-appropriate language to encourage and reassure your child while we work.
  8. Laughing gas often masks the numbing feeling your child may experience.
  9. When work is completed, 100% oxygen is provided to eliminate the remaining Laughing Gas back into the nitrous oxide mask.
  10. From a temporary minimal sedation standpoint, your child will be able to return to school and normal activity safely.

Tips for young children:

  • Young children generally do better with nitrous oxide in the morning.
  • We encourage and welcome parents back during nitrous oxide sedation.
  • Although nausea is rare, we suggest only small meals before the appointment.

Dr. Richards has received extensive training using nitrous oxide to achieve minimal sedation for children.

Here are some reasons for using Nitrous Oxide according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

  • Reduce or eliminate anxiety.
  • Reduce movement and reaction to dental treatment.
  • Enhance communication and patient cooperation
  • Raise the pain threshold.
  • Increase tolerance of longer dental appointments.
  • Reduce the gagging reflex.
  • Increasing the effect of other sedatives.
  • Helping your child have a fun and safe dental appointment.