Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70 percent oxygen with no less than 30 percent nitrous oxide. It is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled. The patient is able to breathe on his or her own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.
Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, chest problems, multiple sclerosis, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.