Nitrous Oxide for Sedation Dentistry

At the Smile Center, we know that patients are not always really looking forward to their dentist’s appointments. While we aim to make sure that you are welcomed into a warm and comfortable environment, that is not always enough for everybody. Many dental patients experience extreme anxiety around dental appointments, or they avoid going to the dentist altogether. However, avoiding the dentist doesn’t make your dental health get any better, and over time, your problems can often get worse.

Sedation dentistry offers patients an easier way to get into the dentist’s chair. While there are a variety of different methods available, one of the easiest and most simple methods is through the use of nitrous oxide or laughing gas.

How it Works

Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative agent that is inhaled through the nose. The medication produces a mild sense of euphoria and relaxation. However, patients are completely aware of their surroundings, they can respond to verbal direction, and they remember the procedure. In addition, nitrous oxide wears off quickly, so patients are still able to drive to and from their appointments by themselves.

Reasons for Use

Sedation dentistry is not a great option for every patient. It is important to let your dentist know if you have had an adverse reaction to any type of sedative in the past. Our professional staff can discuss the potential concerns and outline what options are available for sedation dentistry. However, there are many patients who can benefit from the use of nitrous oxide during their dental appointment. These patients include those who are:

  • Mildly apprehensive or nervous about their upcoming appointment

  • Children who are scared about any dental work being completed

  • To help reduce the stress associated with the appointment

  • To control or reduce gagging

  • To ensure that patients can come in for their dental work

  • To reduce fatigue or time awareness

One of our biggest concerns for our patients is making sure that they feel comfortable enough to make it to their appointment. When patients miss their routine checkups, issues that may have been caught early are allowed additional time to become bigger problems! This means that issues like cavities may end up becoming a root canal or a tooth extraction in the future. Of course, the best option is to make sure that everybody feels comfortable coming into the office. If you are feeling nervous about your upcoming appointment, make sure to tell one of our staff. They can help to explain the process and what tools we have to make sure that the experience is pleasant.

Reasons for Not Using Nitrous Oxide

While most patients that would benefit from the use of laughing gas are also ideal patients, there are some factors that may warrant caution or the use of a different method. While these issues don’t necessarily disqualify you from using laughing gas, be sure to let your dentist know if you:

  • Are pregnant

  • Have pulmonary disease

  • Have a respiratory infection

  • Have a compromised immune system

  • Are under the influence of marijuana or a hallucinogenic drug

  • Have multiple sclerosis

In addition, if you have a nasal obstruction, are currently under the influence of alcohol, or have increased intracranial pressure, you should avoid the use of nitrous oxide.


Millions of patients are stressed to some degree about their dental visits. These issues are very common, and our staff is familiar with the best techniques available in the industry. Call our offices today to schedule an appointment, and let us know that you are nervous about your upcoming appointment. We will do everything we can to make sure that your appointment gives you something to smile about!

1012 St Rt 521, Suite 202 Delaware 43015 740-443-4624 740-417-9565 9:00am - 7:00pm 9:00am - 7:00pm 9:00am - 3:00pm 7:00am - 3:00pm 8:00am - 2:00pm Closed Closed 450 S. Miller Dr., Suite 200 Sunbury 43074 740-965-1947 740-965-2451 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm 6:30am - 7:00pm 8:00am - 1:00pm 8:00am - 2:00pm Closed Closed 7420 Gooding Blvd Suite 200 Delaware 43015 740-513-440 740-513-4400 8:00am - 12:00pm 12:00pm - 7:00pm 8:00am - 4:00pm 8:00am - 4:00pm 8:00pm - 2:00pm Closed Closed 740-306-0099