Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas that you breathe in to increase comfort during dental procedures. It has no color, smell, and doesn’t irritate tissues. Discovered in 1772, this safe, effective pain management method increases your comfort in the dental chair tremendously.
Nitrous kills pain and induces a pleasurable feeling after just five minutes of breathing in the gas.
Patients feel a euphoric feeling that gradually spreads throughout the body and enables the patient to relax and allow the dental procedure to take place. It erases both anxiety and pain.
Some people find that there are auditory or visual effects as well and may feel a bit light headed and even people get ‘the giggles’ (hence the name laughing gas!).
Depending on the concentration and length of administration of laughing gas, four levels of sedation are commonly experienced:
- A tingling sensation, especially in the arms and legs, or a feeling of vibration, also called “paraesthesia.”
- A feeling of pleasurable warmth throughout the body.
- A feeling of well being, euphoria and possibly floating. During heavier sedation, a patient’s hearing may dissolve into a constant, electronic-like throbbing.
- At a deeper level of sedation, patients feel intense sleepiness, inability to keep their eyes open and often enter a dreaming state.
Meanwhile, the dentist makes use of this time to quickly and efficiently finish your dental procedure.