About Sedation in Our Office
We strive to be able to give you the most comfortable visit possible. Sedation dentistry is not for everyone. In fact, many of our patients with some dental anxiety find they don't need sedation in our office. These patients often tell us that our caring, gentle approach provides them with a relaxing, pleasant experience even without sedation. The choice is really yours.
Inhalation Sedation (aka "Laughing Gas")
Inhalation sedation, laughing gas, relative analgesia, RA, happy gas, gas, nitrous, nitrous oxide, N2O-O2... this one has more names than any other sedation technique! And deservedly so. Inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide (N2O) and oxygen (O2) has been described as "representing the most nearly 'ideal' clinical sedative circumstance"...
What is it? And what does it do?
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is simply a gas which you can breathe in. It has no color, smell, and doesn't irritate. It was discovered in 1772. Humphrey Davy (1778-1829), one of the pioneers of N2O experimentation, described the effects of N2O on himself following self-administration for a toothache and gum infection as follows:
"On the day when the inflammation was the most troublesome, I breathed three large doses of nitrous oxide. The pain always diminished after the first four or five inspirations; the thrilling came on as usual, and uneasiness was for a few minutes swallowed up in pleasure."
Sounds like fun!! The extract above pretty much summarizes the effects of nitrous oxide: it kills pain - and it induces a pleasurable feeling. After 5 minutes or so of breathing in the gas, you should feel a euphoric feeling spread throughout your body. It really kind of feels like a 'happy drunk' feeling. 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!).