Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. It is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, safe, colorless gas which you can breathe.

The patient breathes comfortably on their own and remains in control of all bodily functions. You may experience mild euphoria while under sedation and may even fall asleep during your procedure.

What are the advantages of Nitrous Oxide?

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

When Not to Use Nitrous Oxide

You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.

Conscious Oral Sedation (Sleep Dentistry)

For some patients, additional medication to control anxiety is necessary or desired. Oral sedatives can provide the needed anxiety control. We will often give the patients a prescription for a medication which they will take about an hour before the dental procedure. The purpose of this tablet is to sedate the patient into a very relaxed state which relieves anxiety and can produce a sleep like state.

For oral sedation, it is necessary to have someone drive you to and from the office as these medications cause drowsiness and make it unsafe for you to drive.

Your comfort is very important to us at Acton Dental Associates. If there is any way we can improve your visit, please let us know. To discuss your particular anesthesia needs or choices please call our office at 978-263-3526.