Inhalation sedation - nitrous oxide
Inhalation sedation is also known as nitrous oxide or more commonly, as laughing gas. This pleasant smelling and colorless gas has the effect of eliminating pain, and bringing on a warm and desirable feeling. Nitrous oxide can take effect just 5 minutes after you inhale it. Dentists prefer nitrous oxide because of its extremely fast effect, and also because of how quickly a patient recovers from the gas. Patients can sometimes fall asleep after the administering of nitrous oxide, and may remember few details of the actual procedure. The nitrous oxide that you will receive before your dental treatment actually contains at least 30% of oxygen, with the ratio usually being 70% oxygen to 30% nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide sedation can induce warm and tingling sensations in the body, especially in the extremities, and feelings of happiness. These effects will depend on the concentration of nitrous oxide, and the amount of time for which you are sedated.
Advantages of Inhalation Sedation
- Nitrous oxide takes effect very rapidly with the relaxed euphoria being induced as quickly as a couple of minutes after administering the gas.
- It can also be used to determine the exact time span for which sedation is needed. This is unlike oral sedatives, which have a specific and limited effect time.
- Nitrous oxide can be administered in incremental doses until the patient reaches the desired level of sedation. There is therefore, no risk of an accidental overdose.
- The nitrous oxide is expelled from the body within a few minutes after the supply of gas is stopped. There are no lingering after effects, and no drowsiness after the procedure.
- If you have a fear of injections, nitrous oxide can make you calm enough for the treatment without the need for needles.
- Nitrous oxide also has pain relieving properties, although these can vary from case to case, and person to person.
- Nitrous oxide has been found to have few side effects, and is safe to use.