Nitrous Oxide Sedation or Laughing Gas
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is used in dentistry to reduce anxiety and make procedures more comfortable. Nitrous oxide is administered through a nose piece that you wear throughout the procedure. It takes only a few minutes to set and has minimal side effects. The sensation of being on nitrous oxide is relaxation with a feeling similar to lightness or floating, Once the nitrous oxide is shut off at the end of the appointment, it only takes a few minutes to wear off - so you are able to drive home and continue with your daily activities as usual.
Oral and Intravenous (IV) Sedation
As an alternative to nitrous oxide, a sedative can be given orally or through a vein (IV). This type of sedative has three effects:
- Consciousness: reduces your level of consciousness, making you very sleepy
- Relaxation: reduces your level of anxiety and making you feel emotionally more comfortable
- Memory: has an effect called anterograde amnesia which means you don't remember the appointment