Dental Tips Blog


Does Nitrous Oxide Have Any Risks?

Better known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has long been used in sedation dentistry to help patients relax and endure treatment. Laughing gas is considered safe for all, even for little kids, but does it carry any risks?

Quantity Matters

Folks used to believe nitrous oxide was as harmless as oxygen. We’ve since learned that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Inhaling too much nitrous oxide can essentially block out oxygen. This is where the danger comes in – you can suffocate just by breathing in too much. It has to be mixed with pure oxygen to be used in dentistry.

What Nitrous Does

Laughing gas is given through a closed system of tubes with a continuous vacuum. The gas comes in through one tube where it’s inhaled and then the exhaled gas flows out the other pipe to a waste disposal.

No one can say for sure how nitrous depresses the central nervous system. All we know is that, similar to alcohol, nitrous slows down brain response. This dulls pain, lessens anxiety, and creates a sense of careless euphoria.

All this is well and good for the patient, but the clinician administering it has to pay careful attention.

The dentist or other trained medical professional carefully monitors the nitrogen-oxygen ratio. Once the patient starts feeling the effects of the gas, the flow is kept at that ratio. As soon as the anesthesia is no longer needed, the oxygen is increased to flush out the laughing gas.

The only risk to using laughing gas is using too much at one time. As long as a trained professional is administering and monitoring the gas flow, it’s perfectly safe. Ask your dentist for more information on anesthesia safety.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


Nitrous Oxide for Kids

Going to the dentist can be scary for anyone, especially children.  One common method of relaxation in the dental field is the use of a light sedation gas with anesthetic called nitrous oxide or “laughing gas.”   Nitrous Oxide has proven to relieve anxiety and is safe for patients of all ages.

Nitrous oxide is given through a mask over the nose and is mixed with oxygen.  This laughing gas will allow your child to feel comfortable and completely relaxed during a dental procedure.

Along with feeling relaxed, your child’s pain threshold will be raised too.  A numbing medication will still usually be administered, however.  Your child will still be conscious, although they feel a bit sleepy.  Once the dental procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide is turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for three to five minutes to help the light effects of sedation to wear off.

What are some benefits of nitrous oxide? 

  • Your child can be relaxed  and comfortable during a dental procedure, allowing the dentist to perform the dental procedure more efficiently and effectively
  • Decreased gag reflex
  • Effective and safe to use on children
  • Fast onset, adjustable, and reversible
  • Most children generally tolerate it well

Keep in mind that your child should not have anything to eat or drink two hours prior to the dental procedure with nitrous oxide.  This will help them to not feel nauseous while they are sleepy.

Does your child have dental anxiety?  Do you want your child to have a relaxing experience at the dentist?  Ask your child’s dentist if nitrous oxide is an option for your child at their next dental appointment!

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339


Why You Should Ask for Nitrous Oxide at Your Next Dental Appointment

Have you ever thought about requesting nitrous oxide (laughing gas, that is) during your dental appointment? If you haven’t, you might want to consider it. Laughing gas is a simple and cost effective way to help you relax through any dental procedure.

It’s Safe 

Nitrous oxide is a blend of nitrogen and pure oxygen gas sent through a self-contained delivery system. The air mixture is breathed in through a soft nosepiece. Your dentist can make adjustments to the levels at any time, and all staff is required to have monitoring permits in order to observe patients who are using nitrous.

It’s Effective 

In just a few minutes, nitrous oxide makes you feel warm and tingly from head to toe. It also decreases your response to uncomfortable stimuli, which is what makes it ideal for use in dentistry. Even if the only thing you are having done is a cleaning or filling – nitrous oxide can put your mind at ease.

It Wears Off Quickly

Do you need to go back to work or drive yourself home immediately after your appointment? No problem. The effects of nitrous oxide are completely reversible within just a few minutes.

You Will Wish You Hadn’t Waited So Long

Most people don’t ask about nitrous oxide because they are too embarrassed to inquire about types of sedation dentistry. However, your dentist and his or her team is more than happy to offer nitrous during your visit. In most cases, nitrous oxide can be added at any time to your current procedure. With nitrous oxide, you can enjoy a comfortable procedure and the peace of mind that you deserve.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


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


Can I Ask for Nitrous Oxide During a Cleaning?

Nitrous oxide as used in dentistry falls under the category of minimal sedation. This means that you will be awake and able to respond to questions and instructions from the dentist, but you will also be very relaxed. Because it only has a relaxing influence on your body, nitrous oxide is typically used in conjunction with anesthesia during dental treatment.

Can nitrous oxide help you cope with anxiety during a simple cleaning? What can you expect?

The Cleaning Appointment

A basic dental cleaning is non-invasive and is not uncomfortable for the majority of dental patients. However, you may find that nitrous oxide will greatly improve your experience if you have very sensitive teeth, an extremely sensitive gag-reflex, or if you have difficulty sitting still in the dental chair because of severe dental anxiety.

In this case, most dentists are happy to provide nitrous oxide as a means of helping you relax so that you can receive the highest quality of care.

What to Expect

Nitrous oxide is very safe, and it is carefully administered only be a trained and qualified professional. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly, and if you start to feel uncomfortable under the influence of the gas, the dentist will switch the air flow to oxygen to flush the nitrous out of your system.

Under the influence of nitrous oxide you may feel relaxed, silly, giggly, warm, happy, sleepy, or even have some tingling or numbness in your mouth, hands, or feet. Sounds may become muffled, but you will still be aware of what is going on.

Before your next cleaning appointment, be sure to discuss with your doctor whether any existing medical conditions you have may alter the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055


Experience a Relaxed Cleaning with Nitrous Oxide

Laughing gas isn’t just for dental treatment like fillings or root canals – it’s also very useful during everyday procedures like your routine cleaning. You might not have thought to ask for it before, but it’s not as uncommon as you might think. Why? Because some people even get nervous or have sensitive teeth and gums during their routine cleanings.

Nitrous oxide is a simple, easy way to relax during even preventive care appointments. The nosepiece delivery makes it easy to start, and you’ll begin feeling the effects of the gas within just a few minutes. Most people begin to feel relaxed, along with some tingling of the fingers or toes, as well as a warm sensation throughout their body. Nitrous oxide can be used as long as necessary, and is completely reversible in just 5 minutes or so. Once the gas is turned down, you are placed on 100% oxygen for at least 5 minutes as the nitrous particles are released by your respiratory system. That means you can return to work, school, or any other commitments after your dental appointment.

The fees for nitrous oxide use are very minimal if at all. Some types of treatments plans automatically include nitrous gas as part of the fee estimate. Just ask your dentist! Even if it is a fee-per-use, it is typically modest and very affordable. It might be the best thing that you’ve ever done during a dental appointment!

You don’t deserve to feel nervous and jumpy when it comes to taking care of your smile. Feel free to ask your dental office about including laughing gas during your next visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123



Dream Through Your Dental Visit

If dental visits sound like a nightmare, then it’s time to ask your dentist how you can peacefully dream right through your next appointment. Sleep and sedation dentistry allows patients of all different backgrounds to enjoy a better experience when it comes to dental care.

Sedation dentistry is an option for just about every dental patient – from child to adult. Electing to access sedation during your dental visit can help you relax throughout the entire appointment and have all of your care needs addressed at one time. These appointments are perfect for people who require more extensive treatment, have longer procedures to complete, or simply want to tune out everything when it comes to having dental work done.

While there are different levels of sedation available, most patients report feeling as if they were taking a light nap or dreaming throughout their entire visit. Since the medications used are also amnesiacs, patients almost always forget everything about the entire appointment! From IV Sedation to nitrous oxide, there are a variety of options available. Discuss your concerns with your dentist and find out what types they offer to help you get through your care comfortably.

It’s important to have someone with you when you come for your appointment, as some medications take a few hours to wear off after your dental visit. Your dentist will follow up with you as well as provide written home care instructions so that you won’t have to worry about whether or not you forgot something. If you’ve been nervous about going back to the dentist, or just want to experience the most relaxed environment possible, then it’s time to ask your dentist about sedation dentistry today.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751


When is Nitrous Oxide Not an Option?

“Laughing gas” has long been used in dentistry as a fast-acting, safe, and effective way to help patients relax during their treatment. Although its technical name is nitrous oxide, it’s known by some as laughing gas due to its ability to help people feel very light-hearted or even catch a case of the giggles when they’re inhaling the gas. 

Just about anyone can elect to use nitrous during their dental treatment. From regular cleanings to dental extractions, nitrous oxide provides full effects in just a few minutes and is completely reversed within about 5 minutes of being turned off. However, there are some circumstances where a patient may not be a candidate for nitrous oxide use. Some examples include patients with: 

  • Severe allergies or sinus infections
  • Sinus obstructions or difficulty breathing through their nose; People with COPD
  • A tendency to feel claustrophobic
  • Women in their first trimester of pregnancy
  • Certain severe medical conditions (sickle cell, heart failure, MS, otitis media, etc…) 

Because the gas must be inhaled through the nose, it is contraindicated for people who cannot breath through their nose. Medical contraindications are less frequent, but still something that dentists see on a routine basis. It is extremely important that you review your current medications and medical history with your dentist, even if you feel that it’s nothing that they need to know. Failing to disclose a medical condition could result in drug interactions or side effects with nitrous oxide or other commonly used drugs in dentistry. 

If you’re not sure whether or not nitrous oxide is contraindicated for your personal need, ask your dentist during your next check up.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists


Oral Conscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry isn’t as “deep” of a subject as you might have previously thought! Just like there are different types of dentists, there are different levels of sedation. One of the easiest, most straight-forward approaches to sedation dentistry is the method known as oral conscious sedation. This “light” form of sedation lasts just a few hours and helps anxious patients ease right through their entire dental appointment.  

Oral conscious sedation uses prescription medicine that is taken by mouth just one hour before treatment is scheduled. Most dentists have you take this medication in their office, or at home before you leave. Obviously, you’ll need to have a friend or family member drive you to and from your appointment! Although you’ll be able to respond to questions, walk, or follow directions, you most likely won’t remember a single thing. Some people describe the feeling as a light nap or dream.

One of the biggest benefits of oral conscious sedation is that patients can have most of their treatment completed in just a single appointment. This is very useful for people with large treatment plans that would typically call for numerous dental visits, or for people that simply have trouble relaxing in the dental office. The treatment is completed more quickly, as patient comfort is easily maintained. Appointments are shorter, and patients leave the office before the lingering effects of the medication are completely worn off.

What dental care are you putting off due to time commitments or dental anxiety? Putting care off longer will only cause conditions to worsen and can jeopardize the health of your mouth. Talk to your dentist today about scheduling an oral sedation appointment!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates



Light Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide has been used in dentistry for years and years. It is one of the quickest and safest methods of sedation dentistry that helps patients feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their procedures. No matter what type of treatment is being completed, nitrous oxide can almost always be requested by the patient. Many people don’t realize that they can ask for it even during a simple visit like a cleaning!

The way nitrous oxide is delivered (inhalation) makes the rapid onset and termination of the gas very straightforward and easy to achieve. For most people, breathing in the gas combined with a rich oxygen airflow is easy. The only time it is typically contraindicated is when the patient has a difficult time breathing through their nose, due to allergies or sinus congestion. Within about 5 minutes, most patients begin to feel their muscles relax, and a warm feeling through their fingers and toes. From children to adults, nitrous is useful on patients of all ages! Many children that have laughing gas during their procedure never even realize that they are receiving anesthetics or having their tooth prepared. As soon as the treatment is completed, patients are placed on 100% oxygen for at least 5 minutes. This allows all nitrous oxide gas to clear their respiratory and circulatory systems, and for the effects to be completely reversed. Adults are capable of driving themselves home or back to work.

It is extremely safe to use nitrous oxide in the dental office. Only licensed professionals can monitor a patient that has been given nitrous by the dentist. A team member will sit with the patient at all times, constantly monitoring vital signs until the use of the gas has been completed.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates



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