Nitrous oxide, better known as “laughing gas,” is a mix of oxygen and nitrous that is inhaled to relax patients before certain procedures. It is a completely safe and effective sedative used to help you relax, and make your dentist visit more comfortable. Going to the dentist can cause anxiety in some patients, and the use of nitrous oxide reduces anxiety and numbs pain. Laughing gas does not put you to sleep, so you can still communicate with your dentist and be aware of the steps of certain procedures.
When your dentist administers laughing gas, you will simply inhale the gas through your nose via a small mask. You will continue inhaling a steady stream through the mask until the procedure is complete, since the effects of laughing gas wear off within a few minutes.