Nitrous Oxide

Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide is a sweet smelling non-irritating colorless gas that you can breathe.  It has been the primary means of relaxation and sedation in dentistry for many years.  Nitrous oxide is safe and generally used at a level where the patient receives 50-70 percent oxygen with no less than 30 percent nitrous oxide.  Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.  Some patients may even fall asleep and not remember what happened during their procedure.

Advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of relaxation/sedation can be altered at any time during procedure.
  • There is no “hangover” after effect.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing the gagging reflex.
  • It works rapidly (in as little as 2-3 minutes) for relaxation properties to develop.

Reasons to avoid using Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide should not be used if you have been diagnosed the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  You may also want to avoid usage if you have emphysema, a cold or sinus problems, other breathing difficulties, or MS.