What is nitrous oxide?

What is nitrous oxide?
– sedation dentistry Seattle


Many people are anxious when they visit the dentist, and Dr. Caggiano is an expert at helping people with dental anxiety manage their condition through sedation dentistry Seattle. Sedation dentistry involves using medications to decrease anxiety when you come to the dentist. There are a few different medication options for sedation dentistry, and more than one can sometimes be used together. One of the choices is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.


Nitrous oxide is an odorless, colorless gas that has been used in anesthesia for over a century. To achieve its effects, the patient breathes nitrous oxide through a mask. The nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen, so that you get enough nitrous oxide to experience the effects but you can still breathe. Your dentist can vary the percentage of nitrous oxide that you’re breathing, in order to increase or decrease the effect of the anesthesia.


Nitrous oxide has a variety of effects on patients.

Even in low doses, it’s very effective at reducing anxiety.
It produces an analgesic, or pain-blocking, effect, so that you don’t feel much pain during a procedure.

It tends to produce a feeling of euphoria. This is the origin of its alternate name, “laughing gas.”

All of these effects together make it very useful for those with dental anxiety. The medication will reduce your anxiety, help to block pain from the procedure (a local anesthetic similar to Novocain will also be used to ensure adequate pain control), and even help you to feel good while you’re at the dentist.

Unlike with a general anesthetic, patients taking nitrous oxide remain conscious, although they’re drowsy and will later have little to no memory of the procedure itself. This can help the dentist perform the procedure, because the patient can respond to simple requests such as “open your mouth a little wider” to give the dentist a better view.


Nitrous oxide wears off relatively quickly. This means that patients must breathe nitrous oxide throughout the procedure in order for it to remain effective. However, it also means that the patient will be able to drive home afterward. With some other types of sedation, such as oral sedation with pills, patients remain drowsy for up to a few hours after taking the medication, and therefore they are unable to drive safely and need a ride home from the dentist’s office.

However nitrous oxide wears off within a few minutes after you stop breathing it. This means that you’ll be able to drive home yourself after a short waiting period. For those who don’t have a trusted family member or close friend available at the time of their appointment to drive them home, this makes nitrous oxide a good choice for sedation.


Not every dentist offers sedation dentistry. It requires some extra training for a dentist to be able to administer sedation safely and effectively. Dr. Mark Caggiano’s extensive experience with this field has led him to be called “the sedation dentist of Seattle.” Dr. Caggiano offers nitrous oxide as well as other forms of sedation dentistry Seattle.

If you suffer from dental anxiety and want to experience going to the dentist without worry, it’s time you give sedation dentistry a try. To learn more about your options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Caggiano. His warm and friendly manner will put you at ease immediately, and if you need sedation to help you feel comfortable during your appointments, you’ll have several different options.

Contact Us

For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.



Seattle's Best Smile Logo
I listen to my patients needs and address them appropriately.
In our office we form relationships with patients and as a result they become our patients for life.
Copyright © 2022 Seattle's Best Smiles Privacy Policy
menu Skip to content