A Brief Discussion About Laughing Gas

posted in: Sedation Dentistry | 0

Nitrous Oxide, also referred to as laughing gas, is a gas that is used during dental procedures to help manage pain. It also produces pleasant sensations that cause a patient to relax during their treatment. Due to being well-tolerated, this gas is considered safe for use. In addition, laughing gas has a rapid onset, is non-allergenic, and its dosage is easy to adjust. 

comfortable dental treatment


The history of laughing gas

Nitrous Oxide was first discovered by Joseph Priestly, an English scientist in the 1700s. Later on, the term “laughing gas” was coined in Bristol, England by Humphrey Davy of the Pneumatic Institute. It was when he observed that the gas resulted in a giddy effect on the person he administered it to. For years, the gas was only used for recreational purposes. It wasn’t until the 1800s that the use of laughing gas in the field of dentistry was discovered. Nowadays, laughing gas is mainly available in dental offices in the form of sedation dentistry. 

Characteristics of laughing gas

Nitrous oxide is a transparent and odorless gas with a faint, sweet smell. The gas is not metabolized through the liver and causes little to no toxicity when used on healthy patients for a long duration. Ninety-nine percent of the elimination of the gas is through the respiratory system with minimal effects on other organ systems. 

The objectives of laughing gas inhalation

  • Aid in treating patients who are physically or mentally disabled. 
  • Eliminate the anxiety of those who are anxious to undergo a dental procedure.
  • Help patients relax and communicate with the dentist.
  • Prevent gagging and increase a person’s tolerance for more lengthy procedures. 
  • Decrease unnecessary actions and reactions. This makes the dental procedure run smoothly and efficiently.


Anxious about your upcoming dental procedure? Dr. Garth Riopelle and the team, offer laughing gas under our Sedation Dentistry services in San Ramon, CA. Contact us to schedule an appointment and experience a comfortable and efficient procedure. We are located at 417 Market Pl., San Ramon, CA 94583.

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