Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that when inhaled during a dental procedure can reduce a patients anxiety. Nitrous Oxide has been a primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe and effective for reducing anxiety associated with dental treatment.
The patientremains able to breathe on their own andis in control of all bodily functions. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.
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 very quickly and in as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.
The patient is able to come to and leave the appointment by themselves, there is no need for an escort or someone to drive the patient as they can drive themselves.
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 conditions, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.