Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation: What You Need to Know

Published On: November 28, 2022
If you’re looking for a way to ease your dental anxiety, you may have heard of nitrous oxide sedation. But what is it, exactly? Here’s everything you need to know about this popular form of dental sedation.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless, non-flammable gas that has been used for dental sedation for over 100 years. It is one of the safest and most effective forms of sedation dentistry available today. When inhaled, nitrous oxide enters the bloodstream and quickly produces feelings of relaxation and euphoria. It has very few side effects and its effects wear off quickly, so patients can drive themselves home after their dental appointment.

Nitrous oxide is used for a variety of dental operations, from simple fillings to more complex procedures such as tooth extractions, fillings, root canals, crowns and bridges, gum surgery, dentures, and braces. In addition, it is often used in combination with other forms of sedation, such as oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, to increase its effectiveness. It can also be used for more complex dental procedures, such as those that require oral surgery. It is also sometimes used on its own for very anxious patients or those who have a fear of needles. Your dentist will determine whether or not nitrous oxide is appropriate for your individual case.

Before your procedure, your dentist will place a small mask over your nose and have you breathe in the nitrous oxide through your nose. You will begin to feel the effects of the gas within a few minutes. You will remain awake and alert during your procedure, but you may feel lightheaded and relaxed. 

After your procedure is over, the mask will be removed and you will be encouraged to breathe fresh air for a few minutes until the effects of the nitrous oxide have worn off. You should be able to drive yourself home after your appointment and resume your normal activities. 

Nitrous oxide is safe when used as directed by a trained professional. The gas is non-addictive and will not cause any long-term side effects. It is also quickly eliminated from the body once the dental procedure is over. However, it is important to remember that nitrous oxide is not a general anesthetic and does not completely eliminate pain. However, it can help to ease anxiety and make the dental procedure more tolerable.

Nitrous oxide has very few side effects. The most common are nausea, which can be relieved by simply stopping the flow of gas. Other possible side effects include dizziness, lightheadedness, and tingling in the arms and legs. These side effects are usually short-lived and go away as soon as the gas is no longer being inhaled.

Nitrous oxide sedation is a safe and effective way to help alleviate dental anxiety. If you or someone you know suffers from dental anxiety, contact us today at Renova Smiles. One of our caring staff members would be happy to answer any questions you may have about nitrous oxide or any of the other services we offer.