Nitrous Oxide and Sedation

Laughing Gas

Pediatric dentistry patientNitrous Oxide is the technical word for laughing gas.  It has been the primary means of reducing anxiety in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, as the patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.  During its use, the patient may experience mild amnesia, may fall asleep, or become nauseous, therefore it is advised to not eat a large meal immediately before the appointment. 

Dr. Bird with a patientAdvantages to using Nitrous Oxide:

  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.



IV sedation is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. We utilize a certified anesthesiologist from Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates (PDAA) for cases where the patient may need deeper sedation.