Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small
mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear
and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally
through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide.
You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy.
Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is
removed. Children can return to school after their appointment and adults are able to drive or return to
Oral sedation, also known as pill sedation, is one of the sedation methods dentists use to help patients relax
and remain calm before and during dental procedures. The medications used are called benzodiazepenes.
The dentist will usually prescribe one pill to be taken the night prior to your appointment to help you sleep,
one pill to be taken one hour before your appointment and a final pill that may be taken 15 minutes prior to
your appointment if you are still feeling anxious. These medications help patients feel very relaxed and at
ease both before and during their dental visits. You will, however, need a friend or family member to drive
you to and from your appointments and you will not be able to return to work that day.