What is it?
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a colorless and virtually odorless gas with a faint, sweet smell that is mixed with oxygen and administered to the patient during a dental procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure.
How is it used?
Nitrous oxide is administered through a nose mask. Before nitrous oxide is administered, Dr. Day and his team will consult with you, perform a review of your medical history, and obtain a signature of informed consent. Dr. Day and his team's assessment includes questions such as:
- any allergies and previous allergic or adverse drug and anesthesia reactions
- current medications including dose, time, route, and site of administration
- diseases, disorders, or physical abnormalities and pregnancy status
- previous hospitalization to include the date and purpose
- recent illnesses (e.g., cold or congestion) that may compromise the airway
Is it safe?
The American Dental Association (ADA) states that nitrous oxide is a mild, safe sedative that has an excellent safety record. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide: some temporary tingling and numbness may be felt, and less that 1.5% of patients may experience nausea or vomiting. Nitrous oxide has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Should I receive nitrous oxide?
A patient who may be a good candidate for nitrous oxide treatment may include:
- a fearful or anxious patient
- certain patients with special health care needs
- a patient whose gag reflex interferes with dental care
- a patient undergoing a lengthy dental procedure
If you have questions or concerns about nitrous oxide, please feel free to contact our office at 517-393-8500.
Day Family Dental
Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI