Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide (N20) is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe. The patient receives a mixture of Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide which can be titrated to the desired effect.
The patient is able to breathe on their own and remains in control of all bodily functions.
Nitrous Oxide wears off completely only a few minutes after it has been removed. There are no lasting side effects.
Advantages of Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect such as a "hangover".
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
- It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation properties develop.
Reasons Against Using Nitrous Oxide
You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Women, if you are pregnant or think you might be, you should avoid Nitrous Oxide. Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, chest problems, M.S., cold or other difficulties with breathing.