Julie M. Russo D.M.D.

Diplomate of the American
Board of Pediatric Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide Analgesia

N20 Mask
Child wearing nitrous oxide mask.

What is nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Nitrous oxide/oxygen (often called "Laughing Gas") is a blend of 2 gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. When inhaled, it is absorbed by the body and has a calming effect. Normal breathing eliminates nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body.

How will my child feel when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Your child will get to choose from many flavors to smell. They will feel calm and relaxed. Your child will be fully awake while inhaling the nitrous oxide.

How safe is nitrous oxide/oxygen?

It is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is mild, easily taken then quickly eliminated from the body.

Are there any lingering effects or special care after nitrous oxide/oxygen?

No. All the nitrous oxide is completly out of your child's system by the time the appointment is over. At the end of the appointment the child is given 100% oxygen to breath for several minutes. After the appointment no special care is required.

Are there special instructions prior to having nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Tell Dr. Russo about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. Also tell Dr. Russo of any medications your child may be taking.

Will nitrous oxide/oxygen work for all children?

Pediatric dentists know that not all children are alike! Some children will not need or benefit from the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen, although most do. Dr. Russo has undergone comprehensive training to administer nitrous oxide in a safe environment for your child.