Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas you can breathe. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective analgesic that leaves the system within 4 minutes of receiving 100% oxygen. We begin giving pure oxygen in the last 10-15 minutes of your appointment in order to purge the system. By the time you leave the office, the gas has completely left your system. You will be able to drive yourself home and continue your day normally.
Advantages of Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time.
- There is no after effect or “hangover.”
- It is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- It is very effective in minimizing gagging.
- Nitrous oxide reaches the brain within 20 seconds. Relaxation and pain management can be achieved in a matter of minutes.
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide
There are not any major contraindications, however, you may not want to use nitrous oxide if you have emphysema, certain heart/lung problems, M.S., or other difficulties with breathing. Feel free to ask Dr. Davis for a 5 minute trial to see how you feel with this type of sedation method. You can stop using the gas at any point if you feel uncomfortable.