Dental Tips Blog


Nitrous Oxide or Oral Sedation: Which is Right for Me?

If you have a strong gag reflex, difficulty keeping your mouth open for dental procedures, or dental anxiety, then you could certainly benefit from some level of sedation during treatment. Many dentists offer sedation via the administration of nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas) or oral sedatives. You may be wondering which is the best option for you.

Level of Consciousness

If you want to have little to no memory of treatment, then oral sedation is the way to go. Nitrous oxide keeps you conscious enough to respond to questions and instructions during your procedure. If you prefer to be relaxed but aware for the session, then nitrous oxide is the better option.

How Anxious Are You?

Does the mere thought of walking into the office put butterflies in your stomach? Oral sedation will take effect well before you undergo any dental treatment. For some patients, simply sitting in the dental chair and attempting to inhale the nitrous oxide gas can be a white-knuckled experience!

Staying in Control

Your dentist can’t necessarily control how effective oral sedation will be. During your dental appointment, the dentist can and will adjust the flow of nitrous oxide, however, to increase or lower your level of sedation.


Oral sedation medications can have a lingering effect after your procedure, but nitrous oxide is completely flushed out of your system before you leave the office.

The best way to find out which option is best for you is to talk with your dentist in person prior to your next procedure. Not every kind of sedation works the same for everyone! Be sure to make your next dental experience a comfortable one by discussing sedation options with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

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