It isn't uncommon to have a little anxiety about an upcoming dental procedure. But if your fears have kept you away from the dental office when you know you really should go — take heart! Conscious sedation with nitrous oxide can help you lose that anxiety and make the whole experience so stress-free that you may not even remember it when it's over. Nitrous oxide itself however isn't a substitute for a local anesthetic. For some procedures, you may still need an anesthetic injection. The difference being you won’t mind.
It’s a colorless gas with a slightly sweet odor and has been used in medicine for about a century since it's a safe and effective method of administering conscious sedation.
The nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask that fits comfortably over your nose. You’ll be able to speak, be aware of what's going on, and you will remain in control the whole time. When the procedure is over, the flow of nitrous oxide is decreased to zero, and the oxygen may be increased. After resting in the chair for a few minutes, you'll be able to sit up, and soon you can resume normal activities like driving. Although the experience has been compared to “having a couple of drinks,” there is very little “hangover” effect afterward.
Note that before beginning treatment, we will need to take a complete medical history, including your use of both prescription and non-prescription medications. If you are pregnant, have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or some other pulmonary diseases, or are taking certain drugs, nitrous oxide may not be right for you.