knowledge for peace of mind

Do you suffer from anxiety during dental treatments? Or do you have a profound gag reflex? Nitrous oxide can be an effective option that allows you to have the dental treatment you need. 

what is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas, is a safe and effective sedative agent that helps make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It’s inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose and is used as a safe and effective means of managing pain and anxiety without putting you to sleep.


you might need
nitrous oxide …

If anxiety is getting in the way of your dental care, nitrous oxide might be offered as a solution to help you feel more comfortable during treatments. 

Nitrous oxide has been used in surgical and dental anesthesia for over 150 years. Today the combination of inhaled nitrous oxide and oxygen, when used appropriately, can be a safe and effective solution in dentistry for managing pain and anxiety. It is referred to as conscious sedation as it’s not intended to put you to sleep. Not only is it the most used gaseous anesthetic in the world–a survey from 2007 by the ADA, estimated that 70% of dental treatments that used sedation were using  nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation. The inhaled combination has an extensive safety record and remains one of the safest medicatons used in medicine and dentistry.


  • if you have apprehension or anxiety during dental treatments
  • if you have a profound gag reflex

what to expect with nitrous oxide

before and during your treatment

A small mask will be placed over your nose. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide.

  • You may feel light-headed.
  • You may feel a tingly sensation in your arms and legs
  • Others say that their limbs feel heavy

Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable while still being able to respond to requests or directions from the dentist. The effects of the nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

You will be able to hear and respond to requests or direction the dentist may give you.

    advice & tips

    Good oral health vs. dental fear


    Agree regular dental visits keep them healthy


    don’t visit the dentist due to fear

    nitrous oxide faqs

    answering your questions about nitrous oxide…  

    Can I drive myself home after having nitrous oxide?

    You should be able to drive yourself after receiving nitrous oxide, but allow an extra 15 minutes in your schedule as you will need to wait until you’re fully alert. 

    Will I go to sleep with nitrous oxide?

    No, unlike other forms of sedation at the dentist, nitrous oxide will leave you awake but in a relaxed state. You will be able to follow directions from the dentist. The effects will wear off shortly after the mask is removed. 

    Have more questions? Please call us at 480-608-5444 or email us and we’ll be able to talk you through the process.

    Tips & advice from Dr. Silverman:

    Do you have a mysteriously dark tooth?

    “What’s up with this one tooth? It looks really dark?” The tooth most likely has been injured in the past.  The nerve and blood vessel in the tooth can slowly break down and stain the tooth from the inside out.  Often this process occurs without any symptoms.  To fix a tooth in this condition, a root canal would be required.  In order to regain the normal color of the tooth, a special whitening procedure known as “internal whitening” can be utilized or a crown can be placed to cover the stain.  

    for more information