Nitrous Oxide and oral sedation
Nitrous oxide (‘Laughing Gas’)
Nitrous Oxide, often referred to as ‘laughing gas’, has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many decades. It induces a mild relaxing effect by inhaling a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask placed over the nose.
advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- It is extremely safe
- It works very rapidly
- There are no side-effects or after-effects
- The depth of sedation can be altered or reversed at any time to increase or decrease sedation
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide
You may not be able to receive Nitrous Oxide sedation if you are unable to breathe through your nose due to nasal congestion or other nasal obstruction. You should not receive Nitrous Oxide sedation if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
For those who are very anxious, Oral sedation medications can be helpful. The sedative effects produced by these oral medications alone, or in combination with nitrous oxide, are profound enough that even very anxious patients can be treated successfully. However, with Oral sedation, it is important to plan no further activities for the remainder of the day, and have a responsible adult available to drive you home and accompany you after the appointment.
If it is determined that you will receive treatment with Nitrous Oxide sedation or Oral sedation, or both, further detailed instructions will be provided to you by our office prior to your sedation appointment.