Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in worried patients. Administered through a small mask that fits over your nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. You will be asked to breathe through your nose and not through your mouth. As the gas begins to work, you will become calm, although you will still be awake and able to talk with the dentist.
At the end of your appointment, you will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear. As patients get older and become more comfortable during dental visits, nitrous oxide may not be necessary.