What exactly is laughing gas and what can it do for my child?
Managing anxiety is of utmost importance in pediatric dentistry. One way to achieve this objective is to utilize mild sedation, particularly for procedures such as fillings or extractions.
Nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) is colourless and virtually odourless. It acts on the central nervous system causing euphoria with little effect on your child’s breathing. Laughing gas is a mild sedative, which means your child will be awake and will still need to cooperate for the dental treatment.
Laughing gas is absorbed quickly in the lungs, allowing for rapid onset and recovery (typically within two to three minutes). This also means that your child will not leave the office feeling “drugged”. It does not significantly impair reflexes, and most importantly, protects your child’s cough reflex. Generally, laughing gas is quite safe when administered by a qualified pediatric dentist.
Keep in mind, laughing gas does not replace the need for local anesthesia or dental freezing. It is imperative that your child avoid eating (particularly heavy foods such as dairy, grease or eggs) two to three hours prior to administering the laughing gas. In rare instances, it can incite stomach upset.
Dr. Perusini and the staff at Avenue PD look forward to answering your questions regarding sedation along with its risks and benefits. As always, your child’s safety is our priority, and we look forward to working together to achieve the best outcome for your child.