Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a form of sedation dentistry. It is a great way to reduce or eliminate fear and anxiety related to dental care. It is safe, effective, and convenient!

How does nitrous oxide work?

Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas. It is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask or nasal cannula for you to breathe. It is for this reason that the use of nitrous oxide is referred to as conscious inhalation sedation.

Unlike oral or IV sedation, inhalation sedation allows the dentist to completely control how sedated you are at any given time. Nitrous oxide takes effect 3-5 minutes after it is first administered and wears off 3-5 minutes after it is removed from the patient.

What will happen when I am sedated?

At first you may feel what many describe as a “tingling” or vibrating sensation within your body, especially your arm and legs. This is quickly followed by a warm feeling, and finally a sense of well-being.

With nitrous oxide, you will still be conscious of your surroundings and able to respond. We have the ability to change your level of sedation from moment to moment if you feel like you are not getting enough or are getting too much.

Nitrous oxide leaves your system shortly after your procedure has finished, so there is no lengthy wait for your sedatives to wear off. This means you will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment and continue with your day as normal.

Am I a candidate for nitrous oxide use?

Nitrous oxide may be the right option for you if you have ever experienced the following:

  • Fear and anxiety of needles, drills, and sounds and smells of the dental office, or any other aspect of dentistry
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Traumatic dental experiences in the past
  • Allergies to other types of sedatives

If you would like to learn more about how nitrous oxide is used in our office, or if you are interested in inhalation sedation at your next appointment, feel free to call us. We are happy to address all of your questions and concerns.