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Nitrous Oxide gas

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.  Its primary use is in the reduction of anxiety about dental treatment, and it is available upon request at each dental chair in our practice.

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Its safety is well-documented, with the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

The patient is able to breathe on his/her own, and remain fully capable of conversation and other functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and some drowsiness, not remembering all of what happened during the appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after-effect or “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 to not use Nitrous Oxide

You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.

You may want to ask your dentist for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.