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The dentist’s magic tool: helpful happy gas

Wondering why your dentist has recommended happy gas, or if happy gas might help make your littlie’s next appointment in the dental chair a smoother experience? 

Happy gas is a special tool dentists can use to help their patients’ treatment feel quick, painless and anxiety-free – almost like waving a magic wand! 

From calming little worriers to helping hyperactive tykes sit still, let’s take a closer look at this helpful tool. 

A helping hand with happy gas

Happy gas (also known as laughing gas) is an effective and safe sedative. It’s been a go-to aid for dentists for decades because of its abilities to help our patients. This is especially true for our littlest of patients – children – who may need a bit more support than us grownups.

Made up of oxygen and nitrous oxide, happy gas is both calming and pain relieving. At Norwest, we may suggest using happy gas if we believe your child will benefit from a little extra help to make sure we can complete their treatment. 

Whether from a previous bad dental experience, or fear of an unknown treatment, it’s relatively common for children to face some anxiety about a dental procedure. 

At Norwest, we want every dental visit to be a positive experience for you and your child – and happy gas allows us to do just that. The gas will distract your child from the dental treatment itself, as well as relieve pain and anxiety. 

Happy gas is also described as helping patients lose track of time, making it easier for little patients with short attention spans to sit through longer treatments. 

What procedures does happy gas help with?

  • Happy gas is a helpful tool for a wide variety of procedures. We might recommend it for treatments including:
  • Removing teeth
  • Administering fillings 
  • Administering stainless-steel crowns

Is my child a good candidate for happy gas?

When deciding whether to recommend happy gas, we will talk with you and your child to see if happy gas is a good tool for you. We will take into account:
  • Your child’s age
  • Their level of anxiety
  • The type of treatment they need
  • The length of the treatment required

Both calming and pain relieving, happy gas gives anxious children a helping hand at their dental appointment.

However, just like any treatment option, happy gas isn’t suitable for every child. 

Happy gas may not be effective for a child who experiences severe anxiety. And because of how we administer happy gas, it’s not well suited to children with a stuffy nose – or for kids who can’t or won’t wear a mask over their nose.

But don’t fret. Like all good magicians, we dentists have a few other tools up our sleeves! So we can look at other treatment options if happy gas isn’t possible for your little one.

Working our magic: what to expect at a happy gas appointment

When it’s time to start the treatment, we will fit your child with a mask that just covers their nose. The mask delivers the happy gas and the effects are almost instant. The gas will not make your child fall asleep, but as it takes effect their fingers and toes may start to tingle – and they may even start to giggle. 

The happy gas will keep your child in a relaxed but fully awake state, which allows us to complete their dental treatment.

And the best part? At the end of the appointment, we can lift the magic spell! We reverse the effects of the happy gas by allowing your child to breathe in pure oxygen.

Voila! The effects of the happy gas are gone – and your child now has a happy, healthy smile. 

Is your littlie an anxious dental patient and you’re looking for some extra support? Speak to our team at Norwest Paediatric Dentistry about whether happy gas may be a good fit for you. Call us on (02) 8814 7945 or email us at reception@nwpd.com.au