Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas, which you can breathe. Because of its ease and safety, it is has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Using this type of sedation, the level of relaxation you achieve can be varied as the nitrous oxide  is adjusted . In any case, you will always receive no less than 30% oxygen. You will be able to breathe on your own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

You may experience mild amnesia and you may fall asleep while being treated, oftentimes not remembering all of what happened during your appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of your sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease your sedation.
  • You will experience no after effects, such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart, lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly, reaching your brain within 20 seconds and in less than three minutes, you feel relaxed but you no longer feel pain.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, Multiple Sclerosis, a cold, or other difficulties breathing.

You can ask us for a “5 minute trial,” undergoing this type of sedation for just a few minutes. This short experience will help you decide if nitrous oxide is the sedation method you want to use before proceeding with treatment.