Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of anxiolysis (anxiety relief) in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 30-70% nitrous oxide with no less than 30% oxygen.
The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep.
Advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of anxiolysis can be altered at any time to increase or decrease patient comfort.
- There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- It works rapidly. Most patients feel a decrease in anxiety in as little as 2-3 minutes.
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, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties breathing.