One of the mildest forms of dental sedation available is nitrous oxide. Our dentists may recommend this form of sedation if you suffer from dental anxiety in order to help you relax and receive your treatment as comfortably as possible.

What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

Nitrous oxide sedation, commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a form of inhalation sedation used to induce relaxation and reduce pain and anxiety. This colorless, sweet-smelling gas has been used for over a century due to its effective sedative properties, offering a blend of anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), analgesic (pain-relieving) and euphoric effects. Unlike other forms of sedation, nitrous oxide allows you to remain conscious and responsive, with reflexes intact throughout the procedure.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Sedation Work?

The exact mechanism by which nitrous oxide induces sedative effects is not fully understood. However, it is believed to work by increasing the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, which leads to a calming effect. The onset of sedation is rapid, usually within minutes, as the gas is quickly absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream. Similarly, the effects wear off quickly once the gas supply is stopped, allowing patients to recover swiftly with minimal side effects. In fact, many patients who receive nitrous oxide can safely (and legally) drive themselves home after their appointment.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Benefits of this form of sedation include:

  • Rapid Onset: The effects of nitrous oxide begin within minutes of inhalation, providing immediate relief from anxiety and discomfort.
  • Adjustable Sedation Levels: The concentration of nitrous oxide can be adjusted in real-time by the administering professional to ensure your comfort and safety.
  • Minimal Side Effects: Patients generally experience few, if any, side effects from nitrous oxide sedation, and those that do occur are typically mild and short-lived.
  • Quick Recovery: Unlike other sedatives, the effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the gas is discontinued, allowing you to resume normal activities shortly after the procedure.
  • Safe for All Ages: Nitrous oxide sedation is considered safe for both children and adults, making it a versatile option for managing anxiety and pain across a wide range of patients.

Schedule An Appointment

Contact JP Dental & Implant Center today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brandon Wilcox or Dr. John P. Poovey and learn if nitrous oxide sedation in Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is right for you.