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Dental Anesthesia

Laughing gas in asthmatic children

02/19/2006

Question:

can a 6 year old child with a history of asthma who has been a symptomatic for 2 years and never had a really bad attack be given laughing gas during dental treatment?

Answer:

Nitrous oxide is not contraindicated with asthma, especially in a mild asthmatic as you describe here. Except under conditions of an acute asthma attack, the sedative is fine to use. In fact, some asthmatics have attacks precipitated by anxiety reactions. In these patients, the use of nitrous oxide may decrease the incidence of bronchospasm.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University