The most common sedation used in dental offices is Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas.” Nitrous Oxide (N2O) was discovered in the 1700s and has been a huge asset in the field of dentistry ever since. N2O use helps decrease pain and anxiety associated with dental treatment, allowin
g patients to relax during their dental procedures. It is used in all sorts of procedures
ranging from standard fillings to routing cleanings for patients that are extremely anxious.
Every patient is different when it comes to the level of N2O needed to help him or her relax. The analgesic is first administered when the patient is seated in the treatment chair and is given time to take effect. When fingers begin to feel tingly, the first level of sedation has been entered. The next level of sedation is a more relaxed, euphoric feeling.
Dr. Vasani will monitor the oxygen and N2O levels at all times during the dental procedure. Because N2O is administered through a nosepiece, it may be difficult for patients with severe allergy or sinus problems to use. Positive pressure is delivered through the air line, so the gentle flow helps to ensure that the gases enter into the airway.
Following its use, patients are delivered 100% oxygen for at least 5 minutes. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of the N2O and return to a fully alert state. Patients are able to drive themselves home and there is usually no lingering after effects after having used N2O.