Nitrous oxide sedation: relax at the dentist

In dentistry, nitrous oxide (N2O) has been used for some time as a gentle alternative to general anaesthesia used. Because of its analgesic and calming, resp. anxiolytic effect, it is particularly suitable for treatment of anxious patients but for children as well.

During the nitrous oxide treatment at your dentists in Zug, the patient is administered a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide through a small nasal mask. A big advantage is that the relaxing, anxiolytic and pain-relieving effect sets in quickly and can be reversed quickly as well. This means that the patient can leave our practice alone and fully conscious after a short time after the treatment has ended.

Laughing gas/nitrous oxide treatment at the dentist

What is laughing gas actually?

Laughing gas or nitrous oxide (N2O) is an invisible gas that is odorless and tastes slightly sweet.

It has a sedating, anxiolytic and analgesic (pain-relieving) effect.

Since nitrous oxide is a very stable molecule, it can be absorbed by the body very quickly and takes effect after just 4-5 minutes. However, it is not so-called “metabolized”, i.e. not processed by the body. For this reason, no gas remains in the body after dental treatment. The effect ends just as quickly about 5-10 minutes after the end of the nitrous oxide supply.

Nitrous oxide – a proven anaesthetic

In the US, Switzerland, Scandinavia and several other countries, nitrous oxide anaesthesia is routinely used in up to four out of five dental treatments. In other countries, the number of dentists who use nitrous oxide as a supportive measure is steadily increasing as well – especially in pediatric dentistry and in adults with dental anxiety. The patient relaxes as a result of the nitrous oxide sedation and gets into a calm mood.

This mild type of anaesthetic has been used since 1868 and is still used today as the oldest and best-researched anaesthetic known to be specially gentle. It has no influence on liver, kidney or intestinal function and there are no known allergies.

How does nitrous oxide sedation work?

Nitrous oxide treatment leads to relaxation and decoupling from reality. The patient feels “light” and “indifferent”, fear is noticeably relieved. Due to the changed perception of time, the treatment is not only perceived as “stress-free”, but mostly also as shorter. Patients who have opted for nitrous oxide sedation often report a warm and pleasant feeling or a sensation of “floating through space and time“. Also a slight tingling sensation in the fingertips and legs is sometimes described.

However, these subjective perceptual phenomena only occur during sedation. After the treatment, nitrous oxide is exhaled with 100% oxygen flooding and the patient can leave the dental practice shortly afterwards without any after-effects.

  • Deep relaxation and inner peace during the treatment
  • Distancing from treatment and reduced pain perception
  • Good controllability with rapid onset, resp. end of action
  • Individual dosage
  • Also suitable for children

Like any drug, also nitrous oxide might have side effects – these are rare and provided the sedation is carried out properly by a qualified dentist-team, basically harmless. The patient remains awake and responsive at all times during the treatment. This ensures that he can communicate any discomfort at any time. Sometimes the patient may feel dizzy. This condition can be counteracted quickly by supplying pure oxygen.

Slight optical illusions rarely occur: when the eyes are open, for example, the view appears as if through a veil or similar to so-called “tunnel vision”. Similarly, some dental patients report a changed acoustic perception during treatment with nitrous oxide: for example, noises are perceived as muffled or blurred. This intoxication-like state sometimes triggers spontaneous laughter in patients.

In order to keep possible side effects due to nitrous oxide as minimal as possible, we rely exclusively on the latest technology. In addition, our experienced team monitors the patient’s pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation throughout the whole dental treatment.

Child during laughing gas treatment at the dentist

Who is dental treatment with nitrous oxide suitable for?

As experienced dentists for anxious patients, we attach particular importance to gentle, painless and fearless procedures. Laughing gas has particularly proven itself for treatments of patients with dental anxiety and is also very effective in the treatment of children. Sedation with nitrous oxide can be used on children from the age of 3 – so even a slightly longer dental treatment is no longer perceived as unpleasant.

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A treatment with nitrous oxide may also be used for::

Put yourself in the experienced hands of our dentists-team, which specialize in nitrous oxide treatments in our dental practice in Zug.

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For a bright & healthy smile!