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Laughing gas anaesthesia

Laughing gas anaesthesia


Inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide ? stress-free dental treatment


A stress-free visit to the Dental Surgery


Dental treatment can be pleasant


Some patients are very sensitive to all kinds of medical intervention in the oral cavity. Form them even thinking about a visit to a Dental Clinic causes the so-called dental stress (dentophobia). The fear prevents them from undergoing treatment or even basic control examinations. Fortunately, there is a safe method that guarantees total comfort even during advanced dental procedures. The method is inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas.


Laughing gas N2O/O2 a recipe for stress-free dental treatment



Laughing gas, that is a mixture of nitrous oxide (N2O) and oxygen (O2), guarantees a state of psychological comfort that is completely safe for health and that allows to overcome fear and virtually eliminates the discomfort associated with dental treatment. A pleasant state od relaxation is not associated with loss of control over basic reflexes and does not cause loss of consciousness. The return to full functionality following a procedure is very quick, as laughing gas stops working already several minutes after the administration is discontinued.


Laughing gas (not only) for children


Laughing gas is mainly used during the dental treatment of children, but also in the performance of procedures in adult patients who are very sensitive to pain or suffer from dentophobia. Importantly, in addition to relaxing properties laughing gas has an anaesthetic effect, so injections are not always necessary. The effects of inhalation sedation simply can not be overstated: children (or adults) are no longer afraid of the dentist and are not unwilling to do further visits to the Dental Surgery.


Laughing gas ? history


Laughing gas has been used in medicine and dentistry for a long time. Inhalation Sedation was developed and refined in the United States, where dental treatment with the use of laughing gas is very popular. In Poland, this method appeared only in 1995, but since then its popularity has been growing quickly.

Inhalation sedation ? indications:

  • Dentophobia, ie fear of dental procedures,

  • The fear of punctures and needles,

  • Nervous hyperactivity,

  • Strong gag reflex,

  • Tooth extraction

  • Dental treatment

  • Treatment of children

Inhalation sedation ? contraindications:

  • Total lack of cooperation from the Patient,

  • 1st trimester of pregnancy,

  • Inflammations and airway obstruction,

  • Mental disorders,

  • Emphysema, bronchiectasia,

  • Alcoholism,

  • Porphyria, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis


Dentists' recommendations before nitrous oxide (N2O) administration.

  • Alcohol consumption on the day of procedure is forbidden,

  • The patient should not eat any food for at least 3 hours before the procedure,

  • The patient should be dressed in loose, comfortable clothing,

  • Pregnant women are required to report this fact to their obstetrician before the procedure,

  • No effect of nitrous oxide on the consciousness of patients after 30 minutes after its administration was found. But in order to maintain an appropriate level of safety, dentists advise Patients not to drive motor vehicles on the day of procedure.

  • When inhalation sedation is used in children, they should come to the appointment with an adult and remain under the adult's constant care and observation throughout the day in which the procedure was performed.


Stages of action of nitrous oxide on Patient's body and behaviour :


  • Phase I ? light sedation and anaesthesia (5?25% N2O)


In this step, first signs of respiratory mixture's effects are noticeable. The patient becomes calmer and more relaxed, and nervous tension and stress are reduced. Contact with the Patient is undisturbed: responds to dentist's questions quickly and capably and executes all the commands correctly. The Patient may feel a slight tingling of the tongue, cheeks, fingers, head, back, or chest. Pupillary response to light stimulus is correct, but the senses of touch, hearing and vision may already be slightly weakened.


  • Phase II ? partial anaesthesia and dissociation (20?55% N2O)


  • Dissociation is a form of mind of the Patient presenting as a feeling of separation of consciousness from reality. The patient remains in a state of full awareness of the place and operations performed by the dentist during the treatment, but everything that happens around it seems very distant. Such behaviour facilitates the undisturbed performance of the entire procedure. Patient's feelings change from relaxation to a state of blissful pleasure, there are also very relaxing, plastic hallucinations that resemble dreams (especially in children). The patient is not opposed to anything because their state of mind gives them immense calm and relaxation.

  • If the patient feels like they are swimming, drifting in water, flying in the air, space, or clouds, it means that a suitable dose of nitrous oxide has been administered. The patient is then in a state of partial amnesia, so that after the completion of treatment they cannot remember exactly what has happened in the office, they can only describe the dream they dreamed.

  • At this stage, the doctor is always in contact with the patient and is conversing with them, even though the answers to questions asked are delayed.

  • The state immediately after procedure resembles a state of alcohol intoxication.

  • Physical symptoms include: decreased sensitivity to pain, eg needle pricks, or reduced muscle tension, particularly in the legs and arms.

  • The Patient willingly follows the requests of the surgeon, eg they open their mouth wide when asked.



  • Phase III ?a complete lack of feeling pain (5-?70% N2O)


In the final stage all the symptoms of Phase II intensify and deepen. The Patient experiences complete amnesia and contact with the Patient can be maintained due to the willingness to cooperate mentioned above.

Come to Cezardent Surgery for a healthy and beautiful smile