Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous Oxide is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled. It is safe. At no time during its administration is the patient ever deprived of an adequate flow of oxygen. The patient is able to breathe on his or her own and remain 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 or lungs
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging
- It works rapidly reaching the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as two to three minutes, its relaxation and pain-killing properties develop.
Reasons Not To Use Nitrous Oxide
Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, chest problems, multiple sclerosis, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.