Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. This is one option Dr. Sayeed may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain dental procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. There are several advantages of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide works very rapidly and it reaches the brain within 20 seconds, and relaxation and pain-killing properties develop after 2 or 3 minutes. The depth of sedation can be altered from moment to moment, allowing Dr. Sayeed to increase or decrease the depth of sedation. Other sedation techniques don’t allow for this. With laughing gas, the effects are almost instantaneous. Other sedation techniques have a fixed duration of action (because the effects of oral sedation or intravenous drugs last for a specific amount of time), whereas gas can be given for
the exact time span it is needed for. It can also be switched off when not needed and then switched on again . There’s no “hangover” effect because the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. You can safely drive home right after your dental procedure! With nitrous oxide, it’s easy to give incremental doses until the desired action is obtained. This is called “titration.” For certain procedures like deep cleaning, it may be possible to use nitrous instead of local anaesthesia. Inhalation sedation is very safe and has been found to be very effective in eliminating or at least minimizing a severe gag reflex.
Talk to Dr. Sayeed about whether nitrous oxide sedation would be a good option for you or any member of your family!