Laughing gas is the common term for Nitrous Oxide. This is a safe and mild method used during dental procedures. Your child will be awake and responsive throughout the appointment, in a more relaxed state.
Because this type of dentistry is short-lived with a gentle effect, it is often used for children. Nitrous oxide puts patients at ease so they can remain relaxed during dental procedures allowing the anxious child a more pleasant dental experience!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, and it is quickly eliminated from the body and it is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and maintains all of their natural reflexes.
Prior to your appointment:
Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for children with severe anxiety, very young children, and children with special needs that do not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed or having a hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical center setting only.
While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, the benefits of this treatment greatly outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of driving a car. If this is not chosen, your child risks having multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment, and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.