Shoreline Family Dental Logo

Maria Hoekstra, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
Jacqueline Anderson, D.D.S.
Thomas E. Anderson, D.D.S.

616-399-9520

Our Office Hours are:

Monday: 8am-5pm
Tuesday: 8am-5pm
Wednesday: 8am-5pm
Thursday: 8am-5pm
Friday: 7am-1pm

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas, happy gas) is a sedative gas that is used for dental treatment. It is a mild relaxant, and is very helpful if you find dental treatment stressful.

Nitrous Oxide is breathed through a mask placed over your nose. The dentist usually starts out with a low concentration and then gradually increases it until you feel the desired effect. You may feel light headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm, happy and comfortable. Nitrous Oxide is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. This is called “conscious sedation.” While you're receiving the gas, it's good to give the dentist feedback on its effects. You can strengthen its effect by breathing more deeply. You can also lessen the effect by breathing more through your mouth. But it's best to let the dentist adjust the amounts, because he or she will take note of the concentration that works best for you and will then be better able to treat you.

This works well for people who have trouble getting numb. If you've had the experience where you've required multiple injections of anesthetic and still felt the drilling in your teeth, nitrous oxide will strengthen the anesthetic somewhat and you probably won't feel any pain during your dental appointment.  Our office uses this on children and often times will not even need to give local anesthetic injections.

One of the chief advantages of nitrous oxide gas is that there is no lingering effect. Within two minutes after the gas is turned off, you can get up and go about your normal activities. You can drive home, go back to work, or whatever you need to do.