Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing” gas, was introduced to the dental field in 1844. Nitrous is a useful sedative for the patient who is a little anxious or very anxious about dental treatment. Nitrous oxide is a gas you inhale through a mask that covers your nose during your procedure. The gas is quick into your system, and quick out of your system. The dentist will have you inhale oxygen at the beginning of the appointment and the end to clear your system. Many people find dental appointments to be much more pleasant and do not fear procedures, if the know the nitrous is available to them.
Nitrous used alone will not create anesthesia that puts you to sleep. You are able to talk with your dentist and respond to requests from them. Your teeth will still require the use of local anesthetics for procedures. Nitrous is not strong enough to provide adequate anesthesia if used alone. Although, a ride is not required after you have been on nitrous; our offices recommend you have someone give you a ride home following your appointment. Ask your dentist about nitrous at your next appointment.