Nitrous Oxide

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Nitrous Oxide 

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


We combine experience with the latest in dental technology to deliver the best patient experience possible.