Nitrous oxide is often refered to as laughing gas. It is not really straight nitrous oxide (N2O), but rather a mixture of nitrous oxide and additional oxygen (O2) often referred to as N2O-O2). Although it won't necessarily make you laugh, it is often used in dental procedures to reduce discomfort during treatment. It is especially effective for use in root canals, crowns and in the removal of wisdom teeth.
It is colourless, odourless and completely safe to use, for anyone of any age.
Nitrous oxide will calm you and make you feel more relaxed during certain procedures -- without completely sedating you. It does not impair your ability to respond to the dentist nor does it prevent you from hearing what is happening around you.
Nitrous oxide is provided by inhaling the gas through a mask or respirator. As you wear the mask you breathe through your nose, which moves the nitrous oxide into your lungs where it is absorbed. You will very quickly feel relaxed and slightly light-headed. If you had any pain prior to the treatment, it will be reduced.
One of the big advantages of nitrous oxide is that there is no prolonged sedation. Where other forms of sedation may linger, as soon as the nitrous oxide mask is removed, the effects and light-headedness go away quickly. It is safe enough for you to drive home after your procedure and you are able to eat within 12 hours.
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