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 relieving anxiety in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is fast and safe, and its effect on the body is gone as soon as nitrous is stopped and only oxygen is administered.
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, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment. However, the effect of nitrous is different for each patient. Nitrous only works if patient focus on breathing the gas through the nose the whole time.
Advantages For Using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease its mild analgesic effect.
- 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 and pain killing properties develop.
Reasons Not To Use Nitrous Oxide
You should not use Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or if you are pregnant. 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 with breathing.