What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over the nose to help the patient relax. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas, happy gas, happy air or sleep dentistry “is an option that we dentists at DEC offer to help make the patient more comfortable during certain procedures.


Does nitrous oxide makes us sleep?

It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. We will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.


Who can benefit from nitrous oxide, is it only for kids?

Nitrous oxide or conscious sedation is commonly used in dentistry for people who feels anxious or panicked during complex procedures like fillings, root canals, or routine cleanings to relax patients and minimize discomfort so it is not only used for kids.


In which cases we cannot use Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is contraindicated in pneumothorax, small bowel obstruction, middle ear surgery, and retinal surgeries involving the creation of an intraocular gas bubble. In laparoscopic cases, nitrous oxide can accumulate in the pneumoperitoneum, and some avoid its use in these cases.


What do you recommend to make the experience of having nitrous oxide without complications?

1-To  avoid chances of nausea or vomiting it is  recommended that you do not eat or drink anything for 4-6 hours prior to my appointment and for 2 hours following. Limited clean liquids can be consumed after my appointment.

2-Nitrous is quickly cleared from the system so you can drive home after the appointment but it is encouraged that you have a driver as everyone’s response to nitrous is different.

3-If you have taken any prescription sedative or drugs that could enhance the effect of the nitrous a responsible driver must escort you home from the appointment

4- Children can be very sleepy for the remainder of the day. They should avoid any sports or major activities following their dental appointment and should be monitored while playing and eating following their dental work.

5- Pregnant women are not candidates for nitrous oxide via inhalation in dentistry.


These are most common questions that patient asks but If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to call us at dental experts center and our dentists will happily answers you back.

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