Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. It has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

You may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during your appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide:

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.


You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.

You may want to ask Dr. Arnold  for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.



The administration of N2O-O2 is primarily indicated for patients who exhibit mild to moderate dental anxiety or fear. Minimal sedation is achieved when N2O is used in concentrations of less than 50%, but it can help relieve anxiety associated with the sights, sounds and smells of the operatory, as well as reduce the gag reflex. Administration of N2O-O2 can help patients with controlled conditions exacerbated by stress, such as asthma, angina or seizures.  Discuss this option with Dr. Arnold at your next visit to see if you are an appropriate candidate.