Nitrous Oxide Sedation (Laughing Gas)

If you need some extra help relaxing during your dental appointment, nitrous oxide sedation may be something you should consider.

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colourless gas which you can breathe. It is very safe and the patient receives 50-100% oxygen at all times depending on the nitrous oxide concentration.

The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in complete control of all bodily functions. You are still able to answer questions and speak to the dental team. But you will feel dissociated from the dental procedure and will find it much easier to complete your appointment. Most people feel relaxed and calm during the time you are experiencing nitrous sedation and the effects can be adjusted or stopped very quickly. So the patient is always in complete control.

You 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 quickly 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.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Please remember that sedation during a dental procedure adds to the cost of the dental visit.

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.