Visiting the dentist can be scary and intimidating for many young patients. To help children feel safe and comfortable in the dental chair, McLean DDS offers laughing gas as a safe and effective form of sedation.

Laughing gas is an odorless mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide that is administered through a comfortable mask worn over the child’s nose. Within just a few minutes of introducing nitrous oxide to the airflow, your child should experience feelings of calmness and relaxation. This allows your child to remain comfortable during the procedure without feeling afraid or apprehensive. It is the least invasive type of sedation used by dentists and can be easily adjusted, depending on how your child responds.

Laughing gas is a safe and effective option for a child’s dental treatments, and here’s why:

Benefits of Laughing Gas

  • Alleviates fears of the dentist. One of the primary reasons a dentist may recommend laughing gas is to help reduce fears in a child with dental anxiety. Laughing gas helps kids stay relaxed during treatment so that they can receive the care they need. Similarly, if your child has trouble sitting still during a procedure, nitrous oxide is a great solution for helping kids stay calm while easing nerves.
  • Wears off quickly. Nitrous oxide is administered to children through a small mask that is placed over their nose. This form of sedation works quickly to help your child feel at ease, but the effects of laughing gas wear off almost immediately after the mask is removed. Unlike other types of sedation dentistry, your child can return to school or other activities following the appointment unless your dentist advises otherwise.
  • Kids stay awake and responsive. Another benefit of laughing gas is that young patients will remain awake, aware and responsive during their procedure. So, whether the dentist needs your child to open his or her mouth wider or the child needs a break, he or she will be able to actively cooperate and communicate while in the dental chair.
  • No side effects. Laughing gas is safe and doesn’t have lingering side effects. While other types of sedation — such as oral sedation — require children to stay home following the procedure, kids can resume normal activities as soon as laughing gas is stopped.

Is My Child a Candidate for Laughing Gas?

Your pediatric dentist can use laughing gas for a variety of procedures, including a simple teeth cleaning or filling cavities. This mild form of sedation dentistry is well suited for kids who have dental anxiety, difficulty sitting still in the dental chair or special needs that make it challenging to receive treatment.

Learn More About Pediatric Sedation Dentistry

Dental sedation, especially with nitrous oxide, is safe even for young patients. If you have been delaying your child’s dental procedure because he or she is scared, talk to your dentist.  McLean DDS can offer a number of gentle, safe and effective options (including laughing gas) to ensure your child has a positive, comfortable experience. If you are interested in learning more, schedule a visit with our office by calling (703) 734-2750 today.

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