Unlike general anesthesia and intravenous sedation, nitrous oxide will not put you to sleep. It will, however, decrease your awareness of and sensation of what is occurring during your dental visit.
Nitrous Oxide can do all of the following: reduce your anxiety level, enable you to feel more relaxed, and decrease your gag reflex. Most importantly, it raises the pain reaction threshold, making you more tolerable of the injection and other procedures that would usually feel uncomfortable.
Nitrous oxide is a gas that is delivered through a nose mask. It is given simultaneously with Oxygen. Some refer to it as “laughing gas”. It has a quick onset of action. Patients often feel it working within a few minutes after inhalation. It is one of the safest forms of sedation and can be used on patients whose medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, asthma, etc.) might exclude them from other forms of sedation. It is eliminated from the body in as little as five minutes, thus making it possible for you to drive yourself home shortly after your appointment.