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Iowa dental school apologizes over kids' laughing gas exposure

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa dental school is apologizing for accidentally exposing more than 100 child patients to potentially unsafe levels of nitrous oxide.

The school said Monday that 124 patients who underwent procedures at a pediatric dentistry clinic between March 1 and April 20 face an "extremely small risk" of long-term health effects.

Those patients were given higher than intended amounts of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas and used as an anesthetic.

The school says an error occurred during the clinic's remodeling, when a contractor switched the tubes carrying nitrous oxide and oxygen during installation. The clinic fixed the problem April 21.

Associate Dean Michael Kanellis says the school notified affected families about the low risk so they can "seek the appropriate evaluation and treatment if needed."

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