Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a form of sedation dentistry we offer at Ballwin Dental Care. It is a great way to reduce or eliminate anxiety for the fearful patient. It is safe, effective, and convenient!

How does nitrous oxide work?

Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas. It is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask for you to breathe. It is for this reason that the use of nitrous oxide is referred to as conscious inhalation sedation.

Unlike oral or IV sedation, inhalation sedation allows the dentist to completely control how sedated you are at any given time. Nitrous oxide takes effect 3-5 minutes after it is first administered and wears off 3-5 minutes after it is removed from the patient.

What will happen when I am sedated?

At first you may feel what many describe as a tingling or vibrating sensation within your body, especially in your arms and legs. This is quickly followed by a warm feeling, and a sense of well-being.

With nitrous oxide, you will still be conscious of your surroundings. You also maintain the ability to respond. We have the ability to change the level of sedation from moment to moment, so if you feel like you are not getting enough or are getting too much, we can change it instantly.

Nitrous oxide leaves your system shortly after your procedure has finished, so there is no lengthy wait for your sedatives to wear off. This means you will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment and continue with your day as normal.

Am I a candidate for nitrous oxide use?

Nitrous oxide may be the right option for you if you have ever experienced the following:

  • Fear and anxiety of needles, drills, sounds and smells of the dental office, or any other aspect of dentistry
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Traumatic dental experiences in the past
  • Allergies to other types of sedatives

If you would like to learn more about how Drs. Simonds, Gennaoui, and Schrameyer use nitrous oxide in Ballwin, Missouri, or if you are interested in inhalation sedation at your next appointment, feel free to call us. We are happy to address all of your questions and concerns.