Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that is safe for breathing.
Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years because it is safe and effective. Patients receive 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide during their visit.
Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in full control of all bodily functions.
You may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering some or all of your visit.
There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation level can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect 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 as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes the relaxation and pain killing properties of nitrous oxide develop.
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, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties with 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.