From the Arsenal of a Philadelphia Sedation Dentist: On Nitrous Oxide

Dentists have had to battle through patients’ fears to deliver top-of-the-line services for as long as anyone can remember, and today, many ways have been developed to alleviate the anxiety of dental clients. In states like Pennsylvania, for instance, sedation dentistry has become prevalent, and among the treatments under it, a reputable Philadelphia sedation dentist will most likely have knowledge on the use of nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”.

facts on laughing gas
Basic Facts

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless gas with a sweet odor, and it is prepared mainly by heating ammonium nitrate. It is used both as an anesthetic and an aerosol propellant – in the case of the former, it can cause rapid pain relief, euphoria, and mild sedation. It is classified as a conscious sedation gas, because it simply puts you at a heightened state of relaxation.


An article in details the historical background behind nitrous oxide and how it came to be used in the medical field:

Nitrous Oxide gas was first discovered by English scientist Joseph Priestley in 1772 and was first published about in 1776. In 1799 Humphry Davy gave Nitrous to visitors at the Pneumatic Institute and coined the term “laughing gas”. Through his experiments he discovered Nitrous oxide’s analgesic effects in 1800.

From 1800 to 1840, Nitrous was primarily used for recreation at travelling public shows, but in 1844-1845 Nitrous was recognised as having some medical use in dentistry. In the late 1800’s William James published some accounts of his work with Nitrous Oxide and called its effects of “some metaphysical significance”.


Being a conscious sedation process, the use of nitrous oxide in dentistry keeps you awake enough to interact with your dental practitioner without getting too stressed or anxious for dental treatments to be done. Moreover, the effects of nitrous oxide also wears off rather quickly, so you don’t have to sacrifice more than a day of your time for recovery.

The Process

On the day of the treatment, a trusted dentist like those from Wynnewood Dental Arts will first have your blood pressure and heart rate taken as well as find out how well you could breathe through your nose. Then the dental practitioner will ask you to lie down on the dental chair, the mask will be placed over your nose, and the sedation dentist will let you inhale some pure oxygen before introducing the N2O into the mix.

With the help of Philadelphia sleep dentistry practices like using N2O, you have little reason to fear your next dental visit. Even dental surgery can be made easy with the right tools and of course, the patient’s willingness to keep his dental health in good shape.

(Source: Facts on laughing gas (nitrous oxide), Health24)

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