A safe and convenient addition to treatment for the young, fearful or anxious patient is nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas). Laughing gas is safe and effective in reducing anxiety and providing some superficial numbness. For young children who require small or moderate sized fillings on their baby teeth, laughing gas often eliminates the need for a local anaesthetic (needle). This option makes those early filling appointments more pleasant and takes the fear factor out of dental visits. As well, some patients with strong gag-reflex opt for laughing gas because it is a natural gag-reflex suppressor.
Laughing gas can be used during the duration of almost all dental procedures including dental cleanings. As an alternative option, a patient may choose to use laughing gas only for part of their treatment, as well.
Circumstances for nitrous oxide (laughing gas) use:
- Dental fear or anxiety
- First filling appointments
- Persons with strong gag reflexes