Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a colorless blend of oxygen and nitrous oxide gases that has a uniquely pleasant, sweet smell. The name laughing gas comes from the giddy, relaxed feeling that comes from inhaling nitrous oxide. Laughing gas is administered through a mask that rests comfortably over the nose throughout treatment, and its effects begin and wear off within minutes of applying and removing the mask. Nitrous oxide is an excellent sedation option for patients who experience mild to moderate dental anxiety or have a strong gag reflex.
Conscious Oral Sedation
Oral conscious sedation involves taking prescription medication before a dental appointment to feel calm and relaxed throughout treatment. These medications put patients into a sleepy, dream-like state in which the reflexes are slowed but the patient is still conscious and aware of what is happening. It’s not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during these appointments, but they can easily be awoken with a gentle shake. If this option is chosen, a friend or family member must drive the patient home afterward.
IV sedation allows our team to control the exact amount of sedative a patient receives depending on their specific dental treatments and the amount of anxiety they are experiencing. This type of sedation is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” but patients are conscious the whole time and able to respond to questions. After your appointment, you will likely have little to no memory of your visit, which makes IV sedation an ideal option for those undergoing multiple or complex procedures. Patients cannot drive themselves home afterward.