Nitrous oxide is a gas composed of both nitrogen and oxygen. Often called “laughing gas,” the medication is inhaled through a soft mask that sits on the patient’s nose. Nitrous oxide sedation is a form of minimal sedation, and it does not put the patient to sleep. Rather, the child is completely awake and the inhalation of nitrous oxide will help relieve the patient’s anxiety throughout the dental procedure.
The gas is fast acting and breathing regular oxygen through the nasal hood for five minutes after its has been used will allow the patients to leave the office in the condition they came in.
While nothing in pediatric dentistry is the best choice for everyone, nitrous oxide, in many cases, helps relieve anxiety and makes the treatment appear faster.