Nitrous Oxide

Laughing gas 

Nitrous Oxide is an inhalation gas that produces both mild sedative and analgesic characteristics. It is administered through a nasal mask and is the only form of sedation that is fully reversible once the gas flow is terminated. Thus it allows the patient to leave the office unescorted. Nitrous oxide does not produce a state of unconsciousness; hence the patient is awake throughout the entire procedure. It is recommended for only mildly to moderately apprehensive patients.

There are many 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 such as a “hangover”.
  • 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 properties 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.