Of the different sedatives which dentists offer to their patients, nitrous oxide is still the most sought after. Also referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide brings about a mild level of sedation. There are a couple of benefits to using laughing gas which makes the sedative the most commonly used one.

How is nitrous oxide administered?

Nitrous oxide is in the gaseous form which means that in order for the patient to receive the sedative, he or she must inhale it. Nitrous oxide gas cannot be administered in its pure form since this could lead to asphyxiation due to the lack of oxygen. On the other hand, laughing gas is given in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. Because laughing gas is administered through a nose-hood and through the action of inhaling, then it is more convenient compared to other sedatives which need to be administered orally or through intravenous (IV) infusions.

What are the effects of nitrous oxide?

If you are scared of being knocked out because of the use of sedatives, then nitrous oxide is the best bet for you. This is because nitrous oxide only calms the patient but does not render the patient unconscious or even incapable of using his or her faculties. Patients who have used nitrous oxide in the past report feeling light, happy and giddy, hence the term laughing gas being coined. Some of the other effects of nitrous oxide is that the patient would feel some numbness or tingling but nothing severe to make the patient irresponsive.

How quickly does nitrous oxide start to manifest its effects?

Nitrous oxide is one of the fastest acting sedatives out there, allowing the patient to start feeling calm in just three minutes after the administration. At the same time, the depth of the sedation can be adjusted once the patient has already been administered the sedative. For this reason, it’s easy for dentists to ensure that the patient is sedated all throughout the treatment duration and then slowly ease off the use of the sedative as the treatment comes to a halt. The dentist is always in control of the level of sedation, which is a wonderful source of comfort for the patient.

Before you can be approved for the use of nitrous oxide though, you must consult your dentist and give him or her your complete background of drug use and any untoward effect while using sedatives in the past.