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What is Nitrous Oxide?

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Updated: April 30, 2008

Question: What is Nitrous Oxide?

Answer: Nitrous Oxide is a gas that's combined with Oxygen to produce a a calming effect and a sense of well being when inhaled. Many dentists use Nitrous Oxide to help a patient relax during dental treatments.

When the dental procedure is over, the dentist will have the patient breathe only Oxygen for a few minutes to eliminate the effects of the Nitrous Oxide.

Unlike other sedations, the patient should have a clear head within minutes of coming off of the Nitrous Oxide allowing them to function normally with no lingering effects. Nitrous Oxide is also known as laughing gas.

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Nitrous Oxide 30 April 2008.

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