Some patients may require nitrous oxide to remove pain or anxiety during dental treatments. Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gaseous sedative that's inhaled through a mask over the nose. It was first used in the mid 1800s when practicioners didn't know they should mix oxygen with the nitrous oxide, which wasn't healthy alone. These days, nitrous oxide is administered with at least a 30% oxygen mix through a fail safe mechanism, which makes it safe for any dental care.
Some of the effects you may experience while you're sedated include:
- Lightheadedness, and tingling in the arms and legs, followed by a comforting sensation
- A euphoric feeling or sensation that you are floating
- Inability to keep your eyes open, so it feels as if your asleep
Unlike other methods of sedation, the percentage of nitous oxide can easily be adjusted and reversed quickly allowing it to be used on patients that may have other plans for the day after they leave the dental office.