Nitrous Oxide

Pediatric Dental Professionals

Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics located in Austin, TX

Nitrous oxide is an excellent solution for dental anxiety in children because it’s safe, effective, and reliable. At Pediatric Dental Professionals in Austin, Texas, pediatric dentist Danny Watts, DDS, and orthodontist Stephen Robirds, DDS, offer nitrous oxide to help children have a safe and comfortable dental procedure. Book an appointment online or by phone now.

Nitrous Oxide Q & A

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is an odorless, colorless, and unscented gas that's combined with oxygen to reduce anxiety during dentistry procedures. For decades, dentists have safely used nitrous oxide as sedation for all ages, including very young children and infants. Nitrous oxide is sometimes called laughing gas, because it creates pleasant sensations and often causes kids to grow giggly and silly. 

Your child breathes nitrous oxide/oxygen mixture through a thin tube before the dental procedure starts, and it takes effect almost immediately. Nitrous oxide is also very quickly reversible by changing the oxygen component of the mixture until your child is breathing only oxygen.

Who is a good candidate for nitrous oxide sedation?

Nitrous oxide sedation can be a good solution in many situations. It’s often the right choice when a child needs an extensive dental procedure, or if your child has any of the following issues:


  • Noncommunicative 
  • Mental disability
  • Severe anxiety
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Previous traumatic dental procedures

Your provider can discuss your child’s sedation needs with you to help you decide whether nitrous oxide is the right choice. 

How does nitrous oxide affect my child?

The effects of nitrous oxide usually wear off within minutes. Your child may seem a little disoriented for a short time, and they might not have any memory of the dental procedure (which is usually considered a great benefit). Most kids are back to normal very shortly!

What if nitrous oxide doesn’t provide enough sedation?

If nitrous oxide doesn’t offer sufficient sedation, Dr. Watts can give your child an oral sedative. This is usually only for older children. 

In the rare event that nitrous oxide isn’t sedating enough and your child can’t cooperate with oral sedation, general sedation in a hospital setting might be necessary. In general sedation, a medical doctor, an anesthesiologist, administers full-body sedation so your child can sleep through the entire procedure. 

General anesthesia is safe and effective, but it does carry risks. Therefore, it’s best used only in situations where other types of anesthesia are impossible.

The Pediatric Dental Professionals team is here to make your child’s dentistry procedures safe and comfortable with help from nitrous oxide. Book an appointment online or by phone today.