Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the most commonly used form of sedation in dentistry. It is a colorless, slightly sweet gas that is used during dental treatment for relaxation and anxiety relief. When inhaled, it can induce feelings of euphoria and sedation as well as drowsiness, warmth and tingling in the hands, feet and/or mouth. In the dental setting, it will not induce unconsciousness. You will be able to talk and swallow as needed. The levels of gas can be adjusted until you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Nitrous oxide sedation is very safe and effective and can be used on children and adults alike. Once the procedure is over, you will be given 100% oxygen for 5-10 minutes in order to flush the nitrous out. The effects wear off fairly quickly and you will be able to drive yourself home and return to your daily activities.
Preoperative guidelines: Nitrous oxide is administered through a nasal mask. You must be able to breathe through your nose. Let us know if you have blocked nasal passages or a cold. On the day of your appointment, do not take any antidepressants/sedatives unless your dentist is aware of them.
Postoperative guidelines: Recovery from nitrous oxide sedation is rapid. The gas will be flushed from your system with 100% oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes. If you feel dizzy after the sedation, remain seated and the sensation should pass in a few minutes. Do not leave the office until your head feels clear and you are able to function (i.e. walk and drive) safely.
If you have any questions about nitrous oxide sedation, please call us at (979) 543-2737.