Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide) Sedation



The prospect of undergoing a cavity filling or deep cleaning can cause some people to skip their dental care because of the perception of pain. Feelings of fear or anxiety are normal when facing a dental procedure, but it doesn’t have to stop you from getting needed care. Thankfully, many dentists offer nitrous oxide to help you relax while undergoing procedures to take care of your smile. 

Laughing Gas is Nitrous Oxide

Often portrayed in Hollywood as a gas that makes people laugh uncontrollably at the dentist, nitrous oxide is colorless with a mildly sweet smell. For over a century, this gas has offered patients a safe method of sedation that allows them to stay awake during important dental procedures like root canals and deep cleanings. 

Many dentists and oral surgeons use a local anesthetic in conjunction with nitrous oxide to create an exceptionally comfortable patient experience. This type of sedation creates feelings of calmness and overall well-being while letting the body function normally. Another benefit is the amount of time the nitrous stays in effect; it wears off fairly quickly once the medical procedure is over, with few if any side effects.  

How Laughing Gas is Used

nitrous oxideUnlike some anesthesia which requires an IV, you will breathe in through a nose mask that has nitrous oxide and oxygen mix coming through it. Your dentist will make sure the dosage is appropriate for your body and that your experience is comfortable. Patients report feeling like they’re floating with some possible tingling in their extremities when the gas takes effect. 

At the end of the procedure, your dentist will decrease the amount of nitrous oxide and possibly increase the oxygen you receive through your mask. You will remain relaxed in the dental chair until you can sit up and the dental staff has determined you’re okay for normal activity. Most patients report little to no after effects once their treatments are over. 

Keep in mind that laughing gas is not the same as a local anesthetic and only provides anxiety relief. As a result, your dentist may still use an anesthetic injection at the site of surgery to eliminate pain. Overall, nitrous oxide gas is the perfect solution for those who are nervous about having their teeth worked on or don’t want to undergo heavy sedation, which has more side effects.

Who Should Use Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

Laughing gas benefits those with dental anxiety or who can’t endure sedation that causes them to sleep. Your dentist will perform a complete medical history before determining if nitrous oxide is okay for you to use. Some conditions may prohibit this sedation option, such as:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Pregnancy
  • Claustrophobia
  • Nitrous Oxide having no effect

Speak with your dentist or oral surgeon about the benefits of laughing gas and the benefits it offers over other forms of sedation.

New Jersey Dentists Offering Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a popular method of sedation being offered in dental offices around the world, and it’s likely you’ll need a procedure that may require it. If you’ve avoided seeing your dentist due to anxiety or fears about this experience, consider scheduling a consultation to discuss how laughing gas works and how it may help ease your fears. 

At Union City Oral Surgery, our top priority is compassionate care for our patients. We offer some of the most advanced technology and treatment methods available. Dr. Nancy Herbst uses her more than 25 years of experience as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to bring you an exceptional care experience. Her recent recognition as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists is a testament to her dedicated care and skill within her field. Contact our office today at (201) 601-9262 to schedule an appointment so we can discuss your dental health needs with one of our experienced dental staff.

Union City Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, P.C.

Nancy Herbst, DDS

311 33rd Street
Union City, NJ 07087

Phone: 201-601-9262

Service Areas

Nancy Herbst, DDS is easily accessible to Manhattan and serves the following New Jersey and New York communities:

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