Nitrous Oxide


Our goal at Montshire Pediatric Dentistry is to layer positive, stress-free dental experiences one upon the other for our patients. We want them to enter adulthood with a solid foundation of confidence and trust in dental professionals and value good oral health and much as physical health.

There are many new sights and sounds at the dental office which can be a little scary or overwhelming for some children. We want to help them relax and minimize their fears at each appointment. Dr. Norris and our team are skilled in a full spectrum of behavioral and communication methods to comfort and soothe our patients as much as possible. For some children, sedation is sometimes the best option to reduce their fear and anxiety.


My goal for each child is lifelong dental health. Part of this is making sure that my patients don’t develop the dental phobia that so many Americans suffer from today. To achieve this, I use a wide variety of behavioral and communication methods to reduce stress. When something more is needed, nitrous oxide is available. With this approach your child is never fully sedated and the nitrous is fully out of their system within 5 minutes after the treatment. 

-Dr. Collin


We do not use oral sedation in our office so your child is never fully sedated. Dr. Norris has found that marrying the use of nitrous-oxide with psychological techniques is more than adequate to allow for a happy and safe treatment time for our patients.


Nitrous Oxide, most often referred to as “laughing gas”, is a non-flammable gas that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask placed over the nose. Nitrous Oxide is given through a mask that is placed over the nose and patients simply breathe in and out normally. They will feel the relaxation effects of the gas within a few minutes. Nitrous Oxide has a sweet aroma and patients usually say they have a “tingly” sensation. There is a euphoric effect which can make children fairly giggly, hence the name “laughing gas”. Nitrous also can help relax the gag reflex making treatment time shorter and easier for both patient and doctor. It can also raise the pain threshold helping the child to remain relaxed throughout treatment.


Nitrous Oxide is a safe and effective form of temporary sedation. The patient feels the effects while they are inhaling through the mask but there are no any lingering effects afterward. When treatment is finished, your dental team will gradually reduce the nitrous oxide to oxygen mixture until they are back to breathing pure oxygen. The mask can then be removed. Other sedation methods can take hours to get out of the child’s system, nitrous is completely out in less than five minutes once they are breathing full oxygen.


Before administering nitrous oxide, Dr. Norris will review your child’s medical history, assess their overall fear and anxiety level. Communication is key so you can expect Dr. Norris to always discuss what to expect with both you and your child when appropriate. Because nitrous is administered through a facial mask, if your child has a cold or nasal congestion on the day of their appointment it could possibly interfere with the sedation. We do find on occasion, children have a fear of masks. This does not mean that nitrous is not an option. Dr. Norris is great at working with your child, trying to help them get past the fear with the goal of a better dental experience. We want to be sure that your child feels triumphant and re-enters the world with confidence and strength.

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