Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Dental Illusions offers oral sedation, IV sedation, and nitrous oxide to help people with special needs or dental phobias feel more relaxed and comfortable during their treatment. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a colorless gas that you breathe in through a mask. It has a pleasant smell and is not irritating in any way. Of the three forms of oral sedation, nitrous oxide has remained the most popular choice for several decades.

When you opt for nitrous oxide, you breathe in 50 to 70 percent oxygen and only 30 to 50 percent nitrous oxide. You continue to breathe independently and can easily control all body functions. Some patients fall asleep after receiving nitrous oxide while others simply experience increased relaxation. Additionally, you may not remember some or all of what occurred during your appointment due to mild amnesia brought on by the nitrous oxide.

Advantages of Nitrous Oxide for Dental Patients

This method of sedation remains popular because it offers many distinct benefits, including the following:

  • Your dentist can increase or decrease your sedation level at any time during the appointment
  • You don’t feel groggy after coming out of the sedation
  • Nitrous oxide is completely safe with no worries about the effect it might have on your heart or lungs
  • It helps to minimize gagging for patients prone to this problem
  • Nitrous oxide can reach your brain in as little as 20 seconds and start providing pain-killing and relaxation properties within two to three minutes

When Nitrous Oxide is Not a Good Option

People with certain health conditions should not receive nitrous oxide due to potential complications. These include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Exotic chest problems
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Common cold
  • Asthma or any other conditions that affect normal breathing

If you feel concerned about how you might react to nitrous oxide, Dr. Saliba or Dr. Moukarim would be happy to complete a five-minute trial. Depending on the outcome, you can continue to receive the rest of the inhalation sedation or opt for or sedatives or IV sedation. Feel free to ask questions about each of our sedation dentistry options so you can choose the right alternative in advance of your appointment.

There’s no need to feel embarrassed if you have put off dental care for years due to your anxiety. It’s a common problem, and one that we can easily address by using nitrous oxide at the start of your appointment.