For a lot of people, especially young children, a visit to the dentist is a nothing less than a nightmare. This is where nitrous oxide comes into the picture. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it is more popularly known, is a sweet-smelling gas known to cause instant “happy feelings” in the person inhaling it. So much so, in the 1900s, private parties in London were incomplete without laughing gas “booths.”
Consequently, it found a use in clinical settings with doctors using nitrous oxide to calm patients prior to operative procedures under general anesthesia. It was found to be especially effective in children. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax without putting them to sleep. Since it is inhaled and exhaled through the nasal mask, it doesn’t cause toxicity, unlike any other route of medication like oral or intravenous, wherein the chances of overdose are greater.
Some points to note:
- Laughing gas can be used in very anxious children and adults to calm them down before the dental procedure.
- With laughing gas, treatment time is reduced and the dental surgeon can focus better on the tooth getting treated.
- Recovery is immediate, with zero side effects, and it is non-addictive.
- Since it is a mild sedative and numbing agent, the child won’t remember the discomfort of the procedure. In fact, it brings about a feeling of euphoria, making the children ask for the gas again at the next dental visit.
Help us give your child a better dental experience and ensure your child leaves the dental office with a smile!