Pediatric Sedation Dentistry: FAQs About “Laughing Gas” 

Often referred to as “laughing gas” for its association with a sort-of giddy, giggly state, nitrous oxide gas is one of the most commonly used types of sedation for pediatric patients. Younger children can be especially prone to dental fear and anxiety, so mild sedation can be extremely beneficial for the child and the dentist providing treatment. As a parent, you are naturally going to have questions about laughing gas, its safety, and how it is used.

Is laughing gas safe?

Laughing gas is considered a safe treatment for most pediatric patients. It simply promotes a more relaxed state and may induce a bit of a euphoric feeling. While extremely rare, some children may experience side effects with the sedating gas, such as shivering, mild nausea, or sweating. The gas is not known to cause long-term side effects. To ensure the safety of the treatment for your child, the dentist will discuss any concerns you may have and thoroughly examine your child’s allergies and medical history.

How is the sedative administered to the child?

Nitrous oxide gas is administered via the respiratory system. The dentist will place a “nose hood” over the child’s nose, which delivers the gas through small internal outlets so it will naturally be inhaled as your child breathes. The nose hood is worn throughout the treatment.

How long will the effects of the laughing gas last?

Laughing gas is a fast-acting sedative, which means the effects tend to also subside rather quickly. Usually, your child will be back to a more alert state within a few minutes of removing the nose hood. Some children may experience a bit of grogginess after the treatment, but even that effect should subside quickly.

Work with a Good Pediatric Dentist in Victorville

When used appropriately, mild sedation is an invaluable tool for pediatric dental treatments for younger children. As your child gets older, they will naturally grow to be more comfortable in the dentist’s chair and sedation will no longer be involved. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Victorville, CA, reach out to us at the office of Dr. A. Paul S. Bell, D.D.S.

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