Nitrous Oxide Gas

nitrous-oxide-gasNitrous oxide gas (N20) is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.

It was first used in 1844, when a Connecticut dentist named Dr. Horace Wells tried it on himself while having a tooth extracted. At first, Dr. Wells and others thought nitrous oxide gas would keep patients pain-free during dental procedures and surgery. However, they discovered it was not a powerful painkiller. Today, it is only used in dentistry to relax patients.

Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a pleasant taste and odor. People first inhale 100% oxygen through a soft nosepiece or mask.
Nitrous oxide gas, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is an alternative we may offer to help make you more relaxed during your dental procedures.

It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any instructions or directions. You need to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a prickly in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and relaxed. The effects of nitrous oxide wear out soon after the mask is detached.

When used for mild sedation, nitrous oxide gas may make you feel:

  • Relaxed
  • Warm
  • Pleasant
  • Happy or silly

You also may feel:

  • Tingling in your hands and feet
  • Numbness in your mouth, feet or hands
  • Heaviness or lightness
  • Changes in the way you hear sounds (everything sounds far away or muffled or you may hear a sound described as “white noise”)
  • Sleepiness
  • A sense that everything is wonderful
  • Nausea
  • In rare cases, anxiety

Nitrous oxide is very safe and Dr. Brawley Marze Jr. DDS is fully trained to use this gas during your dental procedures at Marze Dental.

People with congestion, dry noses or breathing problems cannot receive nitrous oxide for dental procedures. The gas enters your lungs through your nasal passages, so these must be clear for the gas to work. Nitrous oxide gas also is not recommended for people with certain lung conditions. These include emphysema, bronchitis and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Nitrous oxide is safe for children, but not all children will be able to receive it. Children must be able to put up with having the soft nose piece or mask placed over the nose. They also must be able to breathe through the nose, and follow instructions from us.
Talk to Dr. Marze about whether nitrous oxide would be a good choice for you.