This is commonly referred to as “laughing gas”. It is administered via a nasal hood and is breathed through your nose. It has a rapid onset (2-3 minutes) and since it is a gas, there are no effects after the gas is stopped at the end of the procedure. Patients are therefore able to function normally without any side effects, including driving after their dental procedure. This is a wonderful level of anxiolysis for those patients who have a slight fear of dentistry or anxiety about having a dental injection. The typical experience that patients feel is an “enjoyable buzz” that lessens their anxiety.
We also offer oral anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) medication where the patient is given a medication the night before, typically diazepam (Valium), to ensure a good night’s sleep. These drugs have a sedative effect that makes it a requirement for patients to have an escort to and from their dental appointment. Anxiolytic medications work well for patients that have a mild to moderate level of fear and anxiety.