Treating Anxiety with Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas. It is often used for children who are mildly or moderately anxious or nervous. It eases their fears so that they can relax. This helps them to receive treatment in a comfortable and safe manner.  A patient would still need to have anesthesia with an injection in combination with Nitrous oxide for most dental treatment.  Nitrous oxide does not anesthetize the tooth.  However, often a child does not even realize that they have had an injection with a needle when using the Nitrous oxide.  Dr. Feldhaus does not tell the patient that he is giving them a “shot”.  He tells them that he is putting the tooth to sleep. It is recommended to parents that they just let Dr. Feldhaus explain treatment to the child.  But of course it is always up to the parents to decide the best way to present treatment to their own child as they know their child best.
Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and delivered through a small mask over the nose. Your child will be asked to breathe through the nose and not through the mouth. As the gas begins to work, the child usually will become less agitated and nervous.
The effects of nitrous oxide are mild. It is safe and quickly eliminated from the body. Your child remains awake and can continue to interact with Dr. Feldhaus. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off very quickly.
Sometimes young children may reject wearing the mask. Nitrous oxide may not be the right type of sedation for them. In addition, nitrous oxide can sometimes make a child feel nauseous. There is no long-lasting negative effect from the Nitrous oxide and it is an excellent choice for many patients.
Insurance does not typically cover the charge for Nitrous oxide gas, so please feel free to ask the staff at Dr. Feldhaus’ office for more information.