Inhalational Sedation

Breathe Easy at Your Next Visit

Inhalation Sedation is a low-level sedation of nitrous oxide combined with oxygen (sometimes called laughing gas) that you breathe through a mask to produce a relaxing effect. We can control the amount of sedation that you receive and it tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation dentistry we offer where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is the most commonly used inhalation anesthetic in dentistry, and has a long history of safety and in providing conscious sedation to the anxious patient. It makes you feel drowsy and relaxed. You’ll still be awake and be able to communicate, but it will make your dental experience more pleasing.

Inhalation sedation (laughing gas) can reach its destination by moving from a high-pressure to a low-pressure system. Because nitrous oxide is a relatively insoluble gas and does not break down in the body, it is readily available to reach its site of action for peak effect within minutes. The same property allows fast elimination of the drug from the body once the pressure gradient is reversed, thus providing for quick recovery.

Since no injection is needed, inhalation sedation is particularly desirable when anxiety stems from the fear of needles. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may be used without local anesthesia in selected procedures such as dental prophylaxis and scaling. Additionally, nitrous oxide/oxygen has very few side effects.

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