Nitrous Oxide (laughing/happy gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. It is used in our office for extremely anxious or sensitive adult patients and most restorative procedures with children.  We do prefer to keep the use of extra drugs and medication to the lowest necessary levels so we only recommend Nitrous Oxide when appropriate.

Nitrous Oxide has been the the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many decades. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. There is a fee per use associated with this form of sedation.  Please ask us for details.

The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and time distortion, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.  For this reason, we will make sure that all questions about treatment are answered prior to the procedure.

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 and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

You should not use Nitrous Oxide just for the effect.

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 us for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.