Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” can be used to help make your dental visit more comfortable. It is a safe and effective means of sedation. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen inhaled through a mask that fits directly over your nose. When using nitrous oxide for certain dental procedures its purpose is not to put you to sleep, but to make you will feel relaxed and calm. Sometimes you can have tingling in your fingertips. You will still be able to hear your dentist and are able to respond. The effects of nitrous oxide are gone once the you stop inhaling the gas.
Oral sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. With this type of sedation, the patient can respond but may slur their words when speaking. As well, not much of the procedure will be remembered. Some people become groggy enough depending on the dose of the oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure but can be awakened with a gentle nudge. When an oral sedative is given for dental procedures the patient must be accompanied by another person that is able to drive them to and most importantly from their appointment. Both Dr. Stewart and Dr. Baybayan have the additional training and are licensed to provide their patients with oral sedation alone or in conjugation with nitrous oxide.