Dentate Smile Design - Your Rochester Hills Dentist

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Nitrous Oxide

Our Rochester Hills dental office takes great effort to make every visit as comfortable as it is beneficial. Dentate Smile Design offers a variety of creature comforts like heated back massagers, paraffin hand wax, noise canceling headphones, agents that minimize teeth discomfort, and nitrous oxide (known as laughing gas). While fear and anxiety can be modified by psychological techniques, in many instances conscious sedation can provide what is needed for dental procedures. Nitrous oxide has the ability to manage both fear and discomfort.

Why is Nitrous oxide used for Dentistry?

Laughing gas is considered a weak anesthetic and analgesic agent, meaning it reduces intensity of pain, but does not eliminate it. Nitrous oxide is administered through inhalation. It is considered a conscious sedation, in that a minimally depressed level of consciousness is achieved during which the individual is relaxed, awake and responds appropriately to physical or verbal commands and retains the ability to maintain a normal airway. While on nitrous, the passage of time tends to be unclear, making the dental appointment seem shorter. At the end of the appointment, 100% of oxygen is administered for five minutes with a quick recovery.

Indications for Nitrous Use

  • Mild anxiety/apprehension
  • Hypersensitive gag reflex
  • Cardiovascular diagnosis (may help stress reduction)
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Intolerance for long dental appointments

What are the Symptoms While on Nitrous Oxide?

  • Individual remains conscious, relaxed, with protective reflexes intact
  • Aware and able to respond to directions
  • Normal blood pressure and heart rate
  • Reduced pain awareness and slight numbness in hands and feet
  • Floating sensations and drowsiness
  • Reduced gag and cough reflex
  • Possible tingling sensation, warmth and perspiration
  • Respirations are normal and smooth
  • Decreased muscle tone as anxiety decreases

Is Nitrous Oxide safe to use?

Nitrous has no negative effect with body interactions. When administered correctly, nitrous oxide has been heavily used with no adverse effects. It is non- irritating and non-allergenic (there have never been a documented case of an allergic reaction). Nitrous oxide is delivered by titration, which is used in incremental dosages until the desired endpoint is reached. It has a rapid onset of action that is within five minutes, and a quick recovery because it has a low solubility (how easily it dissolves in water). Nitrous is not metabolized in the blood; it remains unchanged in blood and tissues. Laughing gas can be easy to control by adjusting the percentage of nitrous administered. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the nitrous industry under stringent rules and regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates packaging and transportation.

Is there any absolute contraindications?

  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Antidepressant and psychotropic drug use ( may intensify effects of the drug)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • COPD
  • First trimester of pregnancy

Our Rochester Hills Dental Practice will strive to enhance patient comfort of all ages. If you want a sophisticated, successful, attractive smile without the stress of a typical dental visit, trust your care to Dentate Smile Design!

In category: Dental Tips

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Client Reviews


Everyone at Dr. Vo’s office makes you feel comfortable and appreciated. Dr. Vo approaches each procedure with great care. It appears that she uses the latest technologies. I have confidence in her skills.

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Awards & Recognitions

Voted 2015’s best Dentist in Rochester Hills for Dentistry treatment and services as reviewed by patients. Verified by

Excellence in Patient Satisfaction 2017

Excellence in Customer Satisfaction 2017

michigan dental association
pankey instituteamerican dental association
american college of prosthodontists