Nitrous Oxide / Laughing Gas Anesthetic

What you need to know in 2025

nitrous oxide laughing gas anesthesia at our dental clinic in Limassol Cyprus

Nitrous oxide is the most common inhaled anesthetic used in dentistry to control anxiety and pain.

Nitrous oxide or in other words laughing gas is a colorless and odorless gas with a sight sweet smell. It aims to depress central nervous system (CNS) and cause euphoria with little effect on the respiratory system.

Nitrous oxide has rapid uptake and is excreted quite fast from the lung. Due to minor depression caused in cardiac output, there is a particular advantage in treating patient with cerebrovascular system disorders such as stroke, carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis and intracranial stenosis, aneurysms, and vascular malformations.

Nitrous oxide causes minimal impairment of any reflexes, thus there is no significant risk of losing protective reflexes. All vital signs are stable and the the patient responds normally to all verbal commands. The patient is able to return to pre-procedure mobility.

In Dentall clinic at Limassol we can provide such a privilege service to our patients and manage to turn their scary treatments to more pleasant experiences with no stress and importantly with out pain.

What drug is used in laughing gas?

Laughing gas itself is a single drug, not a combination. The technical name for laughing gas is  nitrous oxide (N2O)

In dentistry, nitrous oxide is typically administered  with oxygen to ensure proper oxygen flow during sedation. 

FAQ

Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is one of the safest forms of anesthesia and is commonly used in both dentistry and medicine for mild to moderate sedation. However, MUST be used under the proper care of a doctor or dentist. It is often use for people with anxiety, or those who dislike needles, as it has a calming effect and reduces pain perception. However it is not recommended for people with certain respiratory conditions, severe psychiatric conditions or people with severe vitamine B12 deficiency. If you have any concerns you should discuss with your dentist.

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide)  generally  doesn’t completely eliminate pain, but it can significantly reduce your perception of it. In many cases, dentists use laughing gas in combination with local anesthesia (numbing medication injected near the treatment area). This combination provides a more effective pain management strategy.

For very minor procedures, laughing gas alone might be sufficient to manage discomfort, but for most dental work, combining it with local anesthesia is standard practice.

Laughing gas / nitrous oxide wears off very quickly  because it’s not metabolized by your body, it is eliminated through your lungs. So, as soon as the dentist stops administering the gas, you’ll breathe out the remaining nitrous oxide within 5 to 10 minutes. That’s why it’s typically considered safe to drive yourself home after a dental procedure where it was used. Even in rare cases of dizziness or lightheadedness these should also subside completely within a short time.

This is not entirely accurate to say dentists don’t use it anymore. It’s still a relevant sedation option for patients with mild dental anxiety, for shorter procedures where a deeper level of anesthesia isn’t necessary or for patients with a fear of needles.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gaz) and anesthesia are two different things and the best choice depends on the pain management needs, level of sedation needed, patient anxiety, recovery time needed or medical history. In  certain cases, it is recommended to use both.