Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)

Many people do not visit the dentist as often as they want to or need to. The reasons can be varied but one reason is that often there is fear and anxiety associated with visiting the dentist. We find this to be especially true with older patients who might have had a difficult or unpleasant dental visit as a child. Dentistry is much easier today than in the past. The materials and tools we use are all designed with patient comfort in mind. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can help take the edge off a dental visit. We understand that for some people the knowledge that dentistry has improved does not relieve the nervousness they feel.  At Kennedy Dental we are especially understanding and you will find the entire office willing to help you. Prevention has played a big part in making dental visits easier on everyone. In the past, children were only taken to the dentist when home remedies failed. Many adults did not visit a dentist until their problems were severe (and often painful). Thankfully, in this day we can alleviate many potential problems by starting preventative dental care at an early age.

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

The patient is able to breathe on his own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during his appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.

You may want to ask your dentist for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.