Is nitrous oxide (laughing gas) safe?
Nitrous oxide is an extremely safe anti-anxiety medication when used under the supervision of a dentist. It has a long history of safety and success helping people stay calm during a wide variety of procedures, but should not be used unsupervised.
Characteristics that make this gas safe include:
-When we close the delivery valve, the gas is eliminated from your system in mere minutes, so there is no carryover effect.
-This quick elimination also allows us to very precisely regulate the effect of the gas and give you more or less effect depending on your preference. We can control both the concentration of gas coming through the nosepiece and the volume of the flow to provide exactly the effect you want.
-Nitrous oxide is mixed with pure oxygen--not room air. This means that while you are inhaling the nitrous oxide, you are still inhaling the same amount of oxygen that you do when you breathe regular room air. In many cases, you actually receive more oxygen than breathing room air, while still benefiting from the effects of the nitrous oxide.
-The flow of the nitrous oxide is controlled by a regulator. This regulator has a built-in mechanical safety feature that prevents excessive levels of gas from reaching the patient. This makes it physically impossible to deliver toxic doses of nitrous oxide to a patient.
-Administration of nitrous oxide is regulated by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and Dr. Gray, his staff, and his equipment all meet the criteria set forth by this agency.
-Nitrous oxide is not safe for pregnant women. In certain extreme cases, a short, low dose may be administered during the 2nd or 3rd trimester, but it is preferable for pregnant women to avoid exposure to nitrous oxide.