Dental Treatment under Nitrous Oxide sedation or 'happy gas'

The commonly known 'happy gas' or 'Nitrous Oxide' gas is a mixture of two gases Nitrous oxide and Oxygen that is delivered via a fitted nasal mask rests on the nose. Children often feel a sense of well-being or relaxation and sometimes the sensation of euphoria, floating or giddiness giving it the name – ‘laughing or happy gas’. It lowers pain thresholds and may even seem to make time pass slowly. Children sometimes report dreaming and a sense of tingliness in their arms and legs.

Children who have never undergone any dental treatment, are slightly anxious may benefit from the use of this gas. Also, if the dental environment including the sights, noises or sensations are worrying to your child, they may respond well to the use of this gas. Additionally, it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.

The child is awake during the entire period of the treatment and is able to communicate with the dentist. After the treatment is completed the gas is turned off, the child inhales pure oxygen for a short time and the effects generally wears off very quickly.

There are circumstances where children have had previous negative dental experiences, are very anxious or cannot tolerate a nasal mask or have a respiratory condition, nasal congestion or a complex medical history where this gas may not be suited or effective.

Nitrous Oxide is one of the most commonly used forms of sedation in dentistry and there are no known negative effects on the growth and development of the child.