Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe, is most commonly known as laughing gas.
Nitrous oxide has been the safest primary mean of sedation in dentistry for many years, as it’s known for its anesthetic and pain reducing effects. The patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.
The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
Advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect, allowing you to safely drive home after your appointment.
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
- It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide
We will not utilize nitrous oxide if you are pregnant or have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, we may not use it if you have emphysema, chest problems, M.S., a cold, or difficulty breathing.
You may want to ask your dentist for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.