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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: What are the risks of nitrous oxide?

 re_becca - Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:04 pm

What are the risks of nitrous oxide?

My dentist wants to use nitrous oxide because I get so anxious during dental appointments. She tells me there are no risks, and that two minutes after having nitrous oxide I'll be back to normal. Is this true?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:43 pm

User avatar Hello,
There are great benefits to nitrous oxide in dentistry and few risks. The gas is administered with a small mask on the nose, and the patient breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Of course there are risks with all drugs, most commonly with misuse by an untrained person or used illegally for a "high". With a competent professional, the risks are rare.

As a precaution against aspiration of stomach contents due to vomiting, patients should not eat anything for about two hours prior. The patient begins to feel a pleasant level of sedation anywhere from 30 seconds to three or four minutes.

After the gas is adjusted to the appropriate dose and the patient is sedated, the dentist can give any needed injections, and perform dental treatment. After completion, the patient is given pure oxygen to breathe for about five minutes, and all the effects of sedation are usually reversed.

Best wishes.
 re_becca - Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:48 am

Debbie Miller RN

Thanks for your answer. Thanks especially for detailing the dental procedure. But I would like to know what the specific risks are. For example with other drugs you get this like 1% of the people get _____.


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