UAE: How doctors used laughing gas to help 3-year-old with painful tooth decay

Medical centre offers nitrous oxide as alternative for kids who have to go under general anaesthetic for pediatric dentistry


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Published: Fri 12 Aug 2022, 2:06 PM

Last updated: Fri 12 Aug 2022, 10:18 PM

The Dental Clinic at Al Mushrif Children's Specialty Centre, part of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), has successfully treated multiple teeth decays in a three-year-old child under nitrous oxide.

Several dental clinics had informed Sultan Omar Kithiri's parents that he would need general anaesthesia to ensure he remained cooperative during the procedure, an option that most parents are concerned about.

Typical pediatric anaesthesia comes with a certain degree of complications. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a faint, sweet-smelling gas, which is absorbed rapidly, facilitating faster onset and recovery (two to three minutes). The gas has a superior safety profile, when used in recommended concentrations and causes minimal impairment of any vital reflexes.

It is a great alternative for anxious children or even cooperative ones facing a lengthy procedure. Most children are enthusiastic about the administration of nitrous oxide, often reporting a warm and tingling sensation as it takes effect.

Elaborating further, Dr Dema Zatara, Pediatric Dentist at Al Mushrif Children's Specialty Centre, said, "Naturally, most parents are hesitant to take the general anaesthesia (GA) option, and often even after a thorough consultation, there are instances when there is no option but to go ahead with a full anaesthesia route. However, in Sultan's case, while his parents were informed by two other clinics that GA was the only solution, we deemed his condition eligible for the use of nitrous oxide instead."

"Laughing gas is a safe choice to use when treating children. It can also be used for several dental cases in children with special conditions such as autism. I urge all parents to always have a thorough consultation with their pediatric dentist to explore options for their child's case."

Sultan's father said, "Our son had three decaying teeth and was in a lot of pain. We took him to several clinics, which all recommended that he undergo full anaesthesia. Naturally, as parents, we were concerned with this recommendation. So, when, at Al Mushrif Children's Specialty Centre, we were informed that Sultan could be treated using laughing gas, we were so relieved. Thanks to the team here, our son was treated in one to one and half hour seating, which any parent of a three-year-old would know, is a tremendous blessing!"


The multidisciplinary specialised pediatric services available at Al Mushrif provide a wide range of offerings such as endocrinology, cardiology, physiotherapy, nutrition, psychiatry, psychology and dental. This ensures that a child receives all the medical, physical, and nutritional care they need under one roof and in a supportive environment.

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