Nitrous oxide (NO2), also known as “sweet air,” or “laughing gas,” is an inhalable gas that is commonly administered to dental patients as a mild sedative. For over 100 years, sweet air has been successfully used to reduce patient anxiety during their dental treatment. The gas allows patients to remain conscious, relaxed and pain-free throughout their treatment. Not only does it provide anxiety relief, but the side effects are mild (if any are experienced at all).

What Are the Main Benefits of Nitrous Oxide?

Sweet air provides a plethora of benefits for kids including (but not limited to):

  • Anxiety relief
  • An overall feeling of well-being
  • Rapid onset of effects
  • Quick recovery time
  • Easy reversal of effects
  • Allows the patient to stay alert
  • Reduces pain and gag reflex
  • Helps to increase the effects of oral sedatives if used simultaneously

Are There Side Effects?

Side effects are rare and very mild, although they can occur. In the rare case that they do occur, the effects of the sweet air can be rapidly reversed with oxygen. The following side effects may occur if too much nitrous is used and/or the patient has an underlying condition:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Shivering and/or sweating
  • Tinging of the arms and legs

Who Can Benefit from Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide can be useful for a variety of kids- from those that are fearful to children with mild special needs. The following pediatric patients can benefit from Nitrous Oxide:

  • Those undergoing an extensive dental procedure
  • Anxious kids
  • Little patients with a sensitive gag reflex
  • Children who cannot receive local anesthetics

While every case is different, most children with the aforementioned criteria are great candidates for nitrous oxide. The nitrous will allow them to remain calm and communicative throughout their treatment.

Is It Safe?

One of the more popular reasons for nitrous oxide use in the field of pediatric dentistry is because it is safe and effective.

Advanced Children’s Dentistry is a pediatric dental office where Dr. Sybil provides a comforting and educational experience for little patients. Dr. Sybil offers nitrous oxide  and general anesthesia for patients with specific healthcare needs. Schedule an appointment at 516-758-KIDS today.

Pediatric Dentistry

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