Sedation Dentistry Silver Spring MD

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) For Dental Treatments

Staff member preparing sedation equipment

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, safe anesthetic without adverse effects in routine clinical use. 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 their own and remains in control of all bodily functions.

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

Advantages of Using Laughing Gas | Reasons Not to Use Laughing Gas

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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.
  • Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
  • You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
  • Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur at during the same visit.
  • Less discomfort after treatment
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

  • Sinus infections (sinusitis)
  • Nasal blocking conditions such as colds, influenza or allergies.
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) such as emphysema and bronchitis.
  • Narrow angle glacoma
  • Patients under treatment for certain types of cancer that may be subject to respiratory failures following exposure to high concentrations of oxygen over 25%. Since us of 100% oxygen is part of the standard
  • Patients suffering from severe phobias of any kind, or taking sleep-inducing medication, antidepressants, or psychotropic drugs are at high risk of having hallucinations when sedated with nitrous oxide
  • Nitrous oxide should not be administered to patients who recently had eye surgery that involved introducing an intraocular gas. Nitrous oxide inhalation can result in the expansion of the gas bubble in the eye causing healing complications and possibly eye damage. Due to its physical properties, nitrous oxide moves into an air space faster than air moves out, thus it may cause a gas bubble in the body to expand by up to 10%.
  • Similarly, patients who recently had middle ear surgery (tympanic membrane graft) or have blocked eustachian tubes should not receive nitrous oxide sedation because the tympanic membrane can become distended and damaged following inhalation of the nitrous oxide.
  • Pregnant/expecting mothers should not use nitrous oxide.

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

Dr. Tekle will discuss any contradictions.

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