Nitrous Oxide

It is important that your child remains calm and cooperative during dental treatment in order to avoid injury to your child, and our dental staff; as well as to ensure that your child receives the highest quality of professional care. For the child who is afraid, uncooperative, or too young to understand dental treatment, or who requires a very long complicated treatment visit, nitrous oxide/oxygen for analgesia may be beneficial in helping the child relax. In evaluating your child’s case, it has been recommended that nitrous oxide be used during the next visit.

The combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen provides safe and varying levels of analgesia; it is titrated to comfortable levels for the patient. It is recommended that your child have an empty stomach or nothing to eat 2 hours prior to the visit. Clear fluids such as water or apple juice are permitted.

Please do not give your child any milk, or orange juice. The following information highlights some specific facts about nitrous oxide:

  1. Nitrous oxide is breathed through a small, pleasantly scented mask placed over the nose.
  2. It is safe because the child remains awake, responsive and breathes on his/her own without assistance.
  3. It allows your child to breath more oxygen than one can normally breathe from the air while enjoying a remarkable depth of relaxation.
  4. It usually induces a feeling of warmth and security, as well as a pleasant floating sensation.
  5. It can reduce or eliminate apprehension, nervousness, and tension associated with dental procedures and it allows for a cooperative, well-managed dental patient.
  6. A local anesthetic is given, if needed to numb the areas that are to be treated so that there is very little discomfort.
  7. Oxygen is given at the end of treatment to remove the effect of nitrous oxide gas.
  8. The child is awake and sometimes remains relaxed after dental treatment, but will continue to feel the numbness in the area.
  9. You should remember that nitrous oxide analgesia in no way resembles general anesthesia or oral sedation because your child is awake.

To view our Nitrous Oxide Sedation Frequently Asked Questions patient sheet, click here.