Anxiety Free Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide Relaxation Therapy

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is simply a gas which you can breathe in. Also known as laughing gas, happy gas, gas, nitrous, nitrous oxide, N2O-O2, nitrous oxide can be used to relieve dental anxiety.

The equipment used for delivering "happy gas" is quite simple. No injection is required. In cases of very severe needle phobia, getting laughing gas first can help you feel relaxed enough to allow for necessary injections.

The desired N2O-O2 mix is fed through a tube to a nasal hood. This hood is put over your nose. All you have to do now is breathe normally through your nose .

After 5 minutes or so of breathing in the gas, you should feel a euphoric feeling spread throughout your body. Some people find that there are auditory or visual effects as well. You will feel a bit light headed and often people get 'the giggles' (hence the name laughing gas!). Inhalation sedation has been found to be very effective in eliminating or at least minimizing severe gagging. Depending on the concentration and length of administration of laughing gas, three levels of sedation can be experienced (after an initial feeling of light-headedness):

A tingling sensation, especially in the arms and legs, or a feeling of vibration ("parasthesia"), quickly followed by warm sensations, and a feeling of well-being, euphoria and/or floating. During heavier sedation, hearing may dissolve into a constant, electronic-like throbbing.

There's no "hangover" effect - the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. You can safely drive home and don't need an escort. Inhalation sedation is very safe. It has very few side effects and the drugs used have no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain.


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