Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide commonly referred to as laughing gas or nitrous, is a chemical compound, that has significant medical uses relating to its anaesthetic and pain reducing effects. Specifically, in dentistry nitrous oxide is used to assist patients with situational anxiety related to dentistry. It is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. 


What To Expect

You will be asked to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed, or a slight tingling in your arms/legs but you should feel a general sense of calm and comfort. It is not intended to put you to sleep. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off shortly after 100% oxygen is administered to you at the end of the procedure.  

  • You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or direction
  • There is no after effect such as a "hangover"
  • Inhalation sedation is not associated with side effects on your heart and lungs
  • Works quickly within 2-3 minutes the relaxation and pain killing properties should set in
  • Nitrous oxide is contraindicated in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or in those that have chest/breathing issues. 

Talk to us about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you. If situational dental anxiety is an issue for you, we would be happy to provide  a "5 minute trial" depending on your medical history. 

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can help the majority of patients with mild to moderate levels of fear and anxiety but may be ineffective in patients with higher levels of anxiety. Triazolam has been used extensively in dentistry as an effective oral drug in the management of pretreatment anxiety. It is valuable specifically in dentistry because of its short half-life of 1.5 to 5.5 hours and that it has no active metabolites. Peak plasma levels develop at 1.3 hours (following oral administration). Very little residual drowsiness (hangover) is noted with this drug. This option is contraindicated in pregnant patients. However, if you hear the term “sleep dentistry” associated with the use of oral medications, understand that pills do not and should not put a patient to sleep. If you are a patient who wants to sleep through your dental treatment, this type of sedation is not the right choice for you. 

Keep in mind: A patient cannot drive to the appointment, or consume alcohol for a period of 24 hours after the appointment. This requires the patient to have an escort who must be a responsible adult. Patients should leave the office accompanied by a friend or family member. Written consent will be obtained prior to administration of the sedative. 

Please contact us if you are interested in oral sedation so we can discuss this option with you further.