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If visiting the dentist makes you feel anxious, we can offer sedation dentistry options to help you relax. Your safety and comfort are our priority at Massanutten Dental Team and Oral Surgery. Contact us to learn more about your options today!

What is Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)?

Nitrous oxide, also known as nitrous, nitro, NO2, and laughing gas, is a colorless, odorless gas that has been used as an anesthetic for more than 150 years. It is a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen, and dentists use extra oxygen to make the procedure safer for patients.

The nitrous oxide used in dentistry goes directly from a pressurized tank through medical grade tubing to the nitrous oxide-oxygen (N2O-O2) delivery system, connected to nasal hoods.

Nitrous oxide is not an “anesthetic.” Instead, it is a sedative. This means nitrous oxide does not take away the sensation of dental procedures, and NO2 only makes you feel relaxed and less anxious. However, it can be used for patients with moderate anxiety and is considered safe and effective by the American Dental Association.

How is it administered?

Nitrous oxide is administered using a nasal hood. The NO2 gas diffuses into the nose through the nasal hood or mask and is absorbed in the bloodstream like oxygen. Therefore, the dentist can easily adjust the gas dosage and monitor you throughout the procedure.

What are the side effects?

Many patients do not experience any side effects from nitrous oxide. Once the patient is no longer breathing in the gas mixture, the effects will wear off rather quickly. Patients are also typically safe to drive home after using NO2 alone.

How to Prepare for Nitrous Oxide Sedation

If you wish to add sedation to a dental care appointment, our dentist will want to ensure you are healthy enough and determine what level of sedation will be necessary. It’s imperative to be aware that nitrous oxide does not eliminate the feeling of pain or awareness during dental procedures. Still, it does raise the pain threshold to make you more comfortable and ease your dental anxiety.

Nitrous oxide sedation will not make you unconscious or put you in a deep sleep. Understanding how these procedure works are all you need to prepare. Our dental team will answer any questions and provide care instructions to ensure you are comfortable and educated on the treatment.

What are the benefits of nitrous oxide sedation?

In sedation dentistry, there are many options. Our team will decide which sedation option is best based on the reason for sedation, level of dental anxiety, and the dental treatment you require. We offer IV sedation, general anesthesia, and NO2 at Massanutten Dental Team and Oral Surgery.

Some of the benefits of nitrous oxide sedation include:

  • It works quickly and wears off quickly
  • No needles are involved
  • Reduces gag reflex
  • Side effects afterward are rare
  • Will not have to ingest anything like oral sedation options

Who can receive dental gas?

If nitrous oxide is recommended for your dental treatment, you are likely healthy enough to receive the sedation. Our dentist in Harrisonburg, VA, will explain NO2 sedation and how it works, but you should understand that nitrous oxide is not a substitute for general anesthesia. In addition, NO2 will not take away all feeling, and we wish to be very clear about this, so you are prepared for your dental visit.

We can use NO2 sedation for many dental care treatments to help patients relax and have a pain-free experience. Our oral health is essential, but your safety and comfort are a priority at Massanutten Dental Team and Oral Surgery in Harrisonburg, VA.

Schedule an appointment with our dentists in Harrisonburg, VA, today!

Dental anxiety affects many patients and can lead them never to visit a dental office. We understand at Massanutten Dental Team and Oral Surgery, so we provide several sedation treatment options to best fit you or your child’s needs. We offer personalized dental care with compassion.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about our sedation and anesthesia options, please get in touch with us at 540-908-4846.