Nitrous Oxide, often called “laughing gas” is a colorless gas that we can give you to help you relax. It is very safe when professionally administered, and it works extremely well to reduce the anxieties in many dental patients. Approximately one-third of all dentists use nitrous oxide in their offices. It is often used to sedate a patient for a short period of time, or in conjunction with another sedation medication.
The Friendly Dental team has been trained exactly when and how to administer nitrous oxide, so feel free to ask if it is right for your situation. We want to sedate you only as much as necessary, but there are other methods of sedation available if nitrous oxide is not enough for you to feel comfortable. In general, it delivers a very good, light sedation for patients who have some minor discomfort with dental visits, especially during more invasive procedures. Often it is used in conjunction with other sedatives to keep patients very relaxed and totally comfortable.
We will place a mask over your nose that delivers a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It usually takes effect within minutes, and lasts for as long as it is kept on. During the procedure you will feel extremely relaxed, with a sensation that has been described as “dreamy”, but you will remain awake. Once the nitrous oxide is off, patients usually feel normal again very quickly, and can almost always drive themselves home after the appointment.
Yes, it is extremely safe when administered by a medical professional. Nitrous oxide is one of the safest medications available. While most people have no negative reaction to relatively short periods of time on nitrous oxide, it does make a small percentage of people feel nauseated. We have been highly trained how to best deliver nitrous oxide, and will have you under close supervision for the duration of the procedure.