Dental Nitrous Oxide FAQs

Posted on: April 16, 2018

Nitrous OxideWhat is dental nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a translucent gas.  It is provided to patients in order to eliminate potential pain stemming from a dental treatment or procedure.

How is nitrous oxide provided to the patient?

Nitrous oxide is transmitted by way of a nasal hood.  The administration of this gas is controlled with a knob and a switch to ensure the proper dosage is provided.  A flow meter is used to regulate the device and help monitor the gas level in the patient’s system to determine if it is actually safe.

What does dental nitrous oxide feel like?  

Dental nitrous oxide feels quite pleasant, to say the least.  Most patients report feeling a tingling sensation that leads feelings of euphoria.  Above all, patients feel relaxed after nitrous oxide is applied.

Why is nitrous oxide effective at preventing pain?

Ask anyone who has used nitrous oxide for a dental procedure and he or she will testify it works to perfection.  Nitrous oxide resolves fear as well as anxiety by depressing the patient’s senses. Nitrous oxide also lowers the sense of touch, pain and hearing.

Should I expect any changes in my body after the nitrous oxide is administered?

Once nitrous oxide is received by the patient, it will not take long to kick in and work its magic.  Nitrous oxide will spur some changes in your body. As an example, the initial result of the inhalation of nitrous oxide is paresthesia.  This phenomenon is identified by a tingling feeling in the upper and lower extremities. It feels similar to a constant vibration. If the sedation moves deeper, the patient might feel warm and possibly slightly euphoric.  The patient might even feel as though he or she is floating. This floating sensation leads to a dream state in which the patient feels heavy and is no longer capable of speaking or opening the eyes.

Can I drive following a dental appointment in which nitrous oxide was used?

One of the primary benefits of using nitrous oxide for dental procedures is the dentist can control the timing and dose.  Once the gas is turned off, the patient will merely have to take a couple deep breaths to enjoy mental clarity. You can drive home from the appointment without worrying about an accident.  However, if you feel lightheaded after the procedure and have even the slightest suspicion you are unable to drive safely, it is in the best interest of everyone on the road to coordinate a ride home.

Is dental nitrous oxide safe?

The use of nitrous oxide is completely safe.  While nitrogen might not be safe on its own, it poses no threat at all in the form of nitrous oxide.  The nitrous oxide treatment application has about 70 percent oxygen and 30 percent nitrogen. If the medical procedure is especially serious, there will be a balance of 50 percent nitrogen and 50 percent oxygen.

Please call Portola Dental Group today at (760) 201-4085!


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