Nitrous oxide or «laughing gas» is a colorless medicinal gas with a slightly sweet smell. The child will breathe a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a nasal mask during the dental treatment. This requires unobstructed nasal breathing.
Nitrous oxide is soothing, relaxing and helps minimize anxiety during treatment. Additionally, it reduces the gagging reflex and can cause a slight tingling sensation in the lower extremities as well as sensation of heaviness.
A quiet atmosphere is important during treatment, since nitrous oxide heightens the sense of hearing. When administered nitrous oxide, patients lose their sense of time so they perceive the treatment as shorter and the procedure in general as more pleasant. Often, children will recollect little of the treatment afterwards.