How does nitrous oxide work?

Also known as laughing gas or inhaled sedation, nitrous oxide is an excellent choice for patients who are afraid of dental care. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is simply a colorless and odorless gas that, when inhaled, produces feelings of euphoria, light-headedness, and relaxation. It was discovered in 1772, and featured prominently as a light party drug during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Today, nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen to produce slightly milder effects. The most typical ratio is around 70 percent oxygen to 30 percent nitrous oxide, although most dentists start off with pure oxygen and gradually increase the level of nitrous oxide until the perfect ratio for a particular patient is achieved.

One of the biggest advantages of nitrous oxide over other forms of sedation is how quickly it wears off. You will inhale the gas through a mask throughout your procedure. If, at any time, you do not like the sensations you feel, you can simply remove the mask. After your procedure, the effects will wear off within 5 minutes, allowing you to safely drive home and continue your day.

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.