Wilburn Family Dentistry
1420 Townview Ln.
Santa Rosa, CA, 95405
Phone: (707) 542-2881
Email: staff@stevewilburndmd.com

Nitrous Oxide

(Laughing Gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe. The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient is not “knocked out” or “put to sleep” by nitrous oxide.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and not remember all of what happened during their appointment.

Nitrous-oxide does not reliably stop pain by itself, so local anesthetic, (novacaine-like) injections are used along with the nitrous-oxide (in most cases) to prevent dental pain

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • Unlike “pill sedation” There is no lingering after-effect or “hangover” from nitrous oxide use.
  • It is safe, with no side effects on your heart, and lungs, etc.
  • Nitrous oxide is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly, in as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and some pain blocking properties develop.
  • It relaxes the patient and helps eliminate fear, anxiety, nervousness, and tension.


If you decide to use Nitrous Oxide, please follow the instructions below:

  • Let us know prior to your appointment so we can have it ready for you.
  • Do not eat or drink anything 3 hours prior to the appointment.
  • Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.


Reasons Not To Use Nitrous Oxide

You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, but it may not be as effective or comfortable if you have emphysema, a cold or other breathing difficulties.