Nitrous Oxide Provides Mild, Short-Term Sedation


If your child suffers from dental anxiety, you know that a trip to the dentist’s office can be a major headache. Even something as simple as a routine exam and cleaning can induce tears and a battle of the wills. Fortunately, nitrous oxide sedation can reduce anxiety and dental phobia in patients of all ages. More commonly known as “laughing gas,” this option is safe and more conservative than other methods of sedation. At Children’s Dental of Waltham in Waltham, MA, we believe that every child deserves gentle and compassionate care without fear.

Pediatric patient undergoing exam and wearing nitrous oxide mask

To administer laughing gas, we will simply place a mask over your child's nose and ask them to breathe normally. 

Why Is My Child Scared of the Dentist?

Dental anxiety is common, especially among very young children. The unfamiliar sights and sounds of a dental office can be frightening, and having a stranger in such close physical proximity could be disconcerting to anyone. That is one reason that it is so important to take your child to a pediatric dentist. The team at Children’s Dental of Waltham focuses exclusively on caring for kids. We know how to explain treatments in easy-to-understand terms. We also know how to make the new experience fun and exciting, rather than scary.

Thanks to the conservative nature of nitrous oxide, there are negligible risks involved, even for very young patients.

Nonetheless, even with these efforts, we know that some kids will still struggle with anxiety. They may have had a bad dental experience elsewhere, or have a strong gag reflex or are claustrophobic. Maybe they heard a frightening story about the dentist from a classmate or friend. Whatever the reason, in these instances, nitrous oxide can be a great solution.

What to Expect with Nitrous Oxide Sedation

To administer laughing gas, we will simply place a mask over your child's nose. You can be right there with them in the exam room, holding their hand. As soon as your child breathes in the odorless gas, it will start to take effect. In a matter of minutes, they will be deeply relaxed, though still completely awake. He or she may be a little giggly and talkative, as well. If we are preparing for a treatment like a dental extraction, we will also apply a local anesthetic to numb the area. In addition to being fast-acting, nitrous oxide wears off quickly. As soon as we remove the mask, the effects will start to dissipate.

Though there are other forms of sedation available, nitrous oxide is considered a light form of conscious sedation. Thanks to its conservative nature, there are negligible risks involved, even for very young patients.

The Cost of Nitrous Oxide

Because it is conservative, nitrous oxide also typically costs less than other forms of sedation. However, it is not usually covered by dental insurance. 

Contact Us for the Stress-Free Care Your Little One Deserves

Thanks to nitrous oxide, dental visits no longer have to be a source of anxiety. Contact our office online or call (781) 899-7070 to learn more and schedule your child’s appointment.