Nitrous Oxide Sedation (“Laughing Gas”)
Inhalation Sedation Dentistry allows you to be more relaxed and comfortable during your dental appointment. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is a gas administered with a mixture of oxygen to give a calming effect that can help with patients with nervousness, fearfulness, or a strong gag reflex. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, sweet smelling, non-irritating gas that is breathed in through a small mask placed over the nose.
Patients are still conscious and aware during the appointment. Full oxygen is given at the end of the treatment to remove the effects of the nitrous oxide gas and end the treatment. Once the gas is turned off, it takes a few seconds for the gas to leave the body completely. It works quickly because the gas is not metabolized in your body, and the recovery time is only a few minutes because the gas is expelled through your breath in a matter of minutes. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea/constipation.