Dental Nitrous Oxide: A Safe and Effective Option

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild sedative agent that can be used to safely and effectively manage pain and reduce anxiety. It is a colorless, odorless gas that is breathed in through a small mask placed over the nose.

The gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled. After breathing normally for a few minutes, the patient should feel the effects of the anesthesia. The nitrous slows down your nervous system, resulting in a reduction in inhibition, as well as a light-headed feeling and a heaviness in the arms and legs. The end result is a reduction in anxiety and a general feeling of calmness. One of the key aspects of its use is that the effects resolve after breathing pure oxygen for a few minutes, allowing patients to recover and drive themselves to and from the procedure. If you have anxiety about dental procedures, consider nitrous at your next appointment.

What is nitrous oxide?

N2O is a colorless, odorless gas that provides mild sedation and general reduction in anxiety.

What are some nitrous side effects?

Headaches, nausea, shivering, sleepiness, sweating.

Is nitrous safe?

For most patients it is very safe.

What are some nitrous oxide contraindications?

1st trimester of pregancy, COPD, vitamin B-12 deficiency, people who have methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency, people with a history of substance abuse.

Does nitrous oxide kill brain cells?

If high levels of nitrous are used for extensive periods, it can harm brain cells.

Is nitrous oxide “laughing gas”?

Yes.