Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous Oxide is a colorless gas that you can breathe in. It smells sweet and is non-irritating. Laughing Gas has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. 

While under sedation using Nitrous Oxide, the patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of their bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia, may fall asleep, and possibly not remember all of what happened during their appointment.

Advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

When using nitrous oxide, the depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation. The gas works rapidly; it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation  properties develop.

There is no effect such as a “hangover” after treatment. Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs and minimizes gagging.

Disadvantages of Using Nitrous Oxide

There are no major disadvantages to nitrous oxide sedation,  but every patient is different. You may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.