Nitrous Oxide

 

In the world of dentistry, nitrous oxide has remained a primary means of sedation for a number of years. This non-irritating, sweet-smelling, colorless gas is safe to use and effective at keeping patients calm and pain-free during dental procedures.

During a routine procedure, the patient receives between 50 and 70 percent oxygen and 30 percent or more nitrous oxide. It’s not uncommon for patients to experience temporary mild amnesia. Some patients even fall asleep during their procedure and do not remember the appointment at all. However, it’s important to remember that patients are able to continue breathing on their own and will still have the ability to control all of their bodily functions.

Advantages

  • Nitrous oxide can be increased or decreased to alter sedation
  • Patients do not experience a “hangover” effect after treatment
  • Inhalation sedation is proven safe
  • Inhalation sedation helps to reduce gagging
  • Nitrous oxide works in as little as 20 seconds
  • Pain killing and relaxation takes place in as little as 2 to 3 minutes

Major Considerations

While it is safe to use for routine dental procedures, this form of sedation is not right for everyone. Patients with emphysema, multiple sclerosis, the common cold, difficulty breathing, or other chest conditions may want to reconsider treatment using nitrous oxide. Ask your dentist if he can perform a 5 minute trial run to see how you react with this type of sedation before continuing on with treatment.