Beautiful woman getting inhalation sedation at dental clinic. Laughing Gas, nitrous oxide, conscious sedation

Nitrous Oxide: Laugh in the Face of Dentistry

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as ‘laughing gas’, is a frequently used relaxer for dental procedures. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out. If the dentist makes you even a little nervous, you should be taking advantage of this. Laughing gas is a safe and fun way to get you through your dentist visit.

What is ‘Laughing Gas’

‘Laughing gas’ is nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen. It is most commonly used for dental procedures. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, sweet smelling gas that has positive calming effects when inhaled. Dentists have special masks that cover only your nose. This way you can inhale the gas continually through your procedure, while allowing the dentist access to the mouth. ‘Laughing gas’ has been used in dentistry since the mid 1800’s. According to the American Dental Association, “the combination of inhaled nitrous oxide and oxygen is a safe and effective means of managing pain and anxiety in dentistry, when used appropriately.”

Why You Should Laugh it Up

The nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture is used as a form of conscious sedation. You’re nerves will be calmed, but you will still be completely conscious and coherent. Here are a few key points about ‘laughing gas’ that might convince you to take the plunge and give it a go:

  • Fast acting
  • Won’t put you to sleep
  • Safe & Effective
  • Wears off quickly

Like every sedation method, there are risks and possible negative side effects. Make sure your dentist has a clear and accurate understanding of your medical history. If you have any concerns, make sure they are heard before you opt for any form of conscious, or sleep sedation.

What to Expect

‘Laughing gas’ should give you a feeling of euphoria. Your pain receptors will be dulled, and your cares washed away. While it could have slightly different effects from person to person, here are a few common sensations:

  • Feeling light or weightless
  • Calm and Comfortable
  • Carefree
  • Lightheaded
  • Tingling in extremities
  • Heaviness in extremities

Dizziness and nausea are possible negative side effects, but usually only occur when the drug is not administered properly. I personally request ‘laughing gas’ for even the  most minor dental procedure. I love how calm and happy the gas makes me feel. It is almost like dreaming through the procedure, but still being in control. Nitrous oxide could be your perfect sedation solution for your next dentist visit.


At Eagle Rock Dental, we proudly offer conscious sedation as well as sleep dentistry. We want to make sure you are perfectly comfortable and relaxed for your dental visit. Our staff will do their best to make sure your visit with us is helpful, pleasant, and pain free as much as we can help it. We are happy to be serving the Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and Arco areas. Contact us today, or schedule your appointment online!