Sedation Dentistry: Advantages and Disadvantages of Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing or happy gas, is a colorless and odorless gas that you inhale through your nose. The effects of nitrous oxide are a relaxed feeling and diminished pain, making it an ideal sedation option for many dental procedures. Advantages of sedation utilizing nitrous oxide include:

  • The effects of nitrous oxide make their way to the brain in mere seconds, and the pain relieving properties develop in just minutes.
  • Your sedation dentist can alter the level of sedation during treatment.
  • Nitrous oxide can be administered for the exact amount of time it is needed to complete the procedure.
  • Nitrous oxide has no negative after-effects because it is eliminated from the body within five minutes after the sedation is stopped.
  • Your sedation dentist has complete control and is able to give incremental doses of nitrous oxide, eliminating the risk of accidentally overdosing.
  • No injection is required, making nitrous oxide a very attractive option for patients with a fear of needles.
  • The relaxing effects of sedation with nitrous oxide is known to eliminate or reduce gagging.
  • Sedation with nitrous oxide is considered very safe and has no negative effects on other organs of the body.

There are a few potential disadvantages of sedation with nitrous oxide, including:

  • Some patients may not achieve the desired level of sedation with the maximum¬†¬† amounts of nitrous oxide allowed.
  • Patients who are mouth breathers, have claustrophobia, or have difficulty breathing through their nose may not be good candidates for nitrous oxide.
  • If you are prone to nausea or a sensitive stomach, nitrous oxide may not be a good option.

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