How Does Nitrous Oxide Sedation Work?

Wellspring Dental

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, has been used in the dental field for hundreds of years– yes, really. That being said, it’s highly trusted and very effective for making patients feel at ease during dental procedures. Nitrous oxide sedation does not actually put you to sleep, but you could compare it to the feeling of having 2-3 glasses of wine. Simply put, you are awake and alert, you just don’t mind things as much. You may even find yourself with the giggles– hence the name “laughing gas”. 

What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Used For? 

Laughing gas is generally used to treat dental anxiety, or longer, more taxing dental appointments. This happy gas can be used both on children and adults as it is completely harmless and wears off quickly. With laughing gas, you can be more at ease during a dental procedure, allowing you to feel less hesitant to schedule those regular cleanings. 

Nitrous Oxide Sedation is also great for… 

  • Tooth extractions
  • Crown prep appointments
  • Dental implants
  • Root canal therapy

How Does Nitrous Oxide Sedation Work?

Laughing gas is administered through a soft, comfortable nose piece. This allows you to breathe as normal, sit back, and relax while your dentist performs the dental procedure. So what is this gas exactly? Laughing gas is a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen that creates a calm, relaxing sensation throughout your body. As it is inhaled, the gas is quickly absorbed through the respiratory tract and into your bloodstream– this makes it conveniently fast acting! 

How Long Does It Take For Nitrous Oxide Sedation to Wear Off? 

As we mentioned, laughing gas wears off rather quickly. Since the gas is inhaled, the effects will wear off within 5-10 minutes once your dentist switches the nitrous to 100% oxygen. This means, unlike IV sedation, you are completely safe to drive yourself home after the dental appointment. 

At Wellspring Dental, keeping you comfortable for every single visit is at the heart of our community-centered approach. We understand that dental anxiety is very real, and we want you to feel comfortable to schedule your regular exams without hesitation. Staying on track with regular dental cleanings is crucial to your overall health, so we offer the most effective local anesthetic, oral sedation and nitrous oxide to ensure you feel your best. 

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