Safe, Fast-Acting Nitrous Oxide Sedation Can Help You Relax During Treatment

According to the American Dental Association, 22 percent of patients forego important dental care because they are afraid of the dentist. So that every patient feels comfortable during their appointments, our Richmond, VA, dental office is equipped with nitrous oxide sedation. Often referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide a mild form of sedation administered through a mask and is recommended for patients who suffer minor to moderate dental phobia. During your procedure, Dr. William Davey Crockett at Davey Crockett Dentistry can control your level of sedation so you can stay relaxed with minimal side effects. 

A sleeping woman with a mask over her nose

Nitrous oxide is comfortably administered through a mask over your nose and does not require needles to take effect.

What to Expect During Treatment

Of the three sedation options available at our practice - nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or a combination of both - nitrous oxide is generally considered the mildest method. During the application of nitrous oxide, you will be awake and responsive, but relaxed. Your mental capabilities will be muted, so you will not be fully aware of what is occurring during your treatment. Additionally, the gas suppresses most sensation including hearing, touch, and pain.

Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose. The mask delivers the gas directly into the nose and mouth. All you need to do is relax and breathe normally. Once the mask is removed, the effects will dissipate rapidly and you will be able to return home without assistance.

For your convenience, we offer this low-level sedation at no additional cost for all patients.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide vs. Other Sedation Forms

Nitrous oxide offers numerous advantages over alternative forms of sedation, including:

  • Rapid onset: The nitrous oxide gas (N2O) reaches the brain in seconds and begins to take effect about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Easily adjustable: Sedation levels can be tailored to the needs of each patient according to their age, weight, and height.

  • Quick recovery: The effects of N20 are removed from your system within five minutes. This means you can safely drive home following your procedure.

  • Extremely safe: Side effects are few and rare. Additionally, there are no adverse effects on major organs like the brain, lungs, heart, or liver.

Nitrous oxide takes effect quickly and is reversible, adjustable, and well-tolerated by most patients.

Potential Side Effects 

Although nitrous oxide is safe and suitable for most patients, you may be at risk of some side effects, such as:

  • Headaches: Because oxygen flushes the remaining N20 from the lungs and returns the patient to an alert state, patients may experience a headache if they do not receive sufficient oxygen for at least five minutes after the N2O has been turned off.

  • Nausea or discomfort: Some patients can feel nauseated or uncomfortable from the gas-induced sensations

  • Insufficient sedation: Patients who have a nasal blockage or trouble breathing through their nose due to an anatomical issue or sinus congestion may not breathe in a sufficient amount of gas to achieve desired levels of sedation.

Despite the potential for negative side effects, several professional studies consider nitrous oxide a safe, cost-effective form of sedation.

Learn More about Nitrous Oxide Sedation

If dental phobia has stopped you from receiving the dental care you need, nitrous oxide can help you relax during your next visit to our office. For your convenience, we offer this low-level sedation at no additional cost for all patients. To learn more about sedation options at Davey Crockett Dentistry, call (804) 282-2990 or send us an online message.