Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps anxious children relax during their dental treatment. It is perhaps the safest sedative used in dentistry. In addition, it is non-allergenic and well-tolerated by most children.
Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to our team during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for three to five minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and/or vomiting.