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Nitrous Oxide

N2O, or Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a weak anaesthetic (painkilling) gas that was first synthesized in 1775 by Joseph Priestley Of the three early anaesthetics discovered (chloroform, ether and nitrous oxide) it is the only one still in regular use. While insufficiently strong for surgery, it was ideal for the lesser pain of dentistry. It is very effective in "taking the edge off" during a dental procedure.

What Does Nitrous Feel Like?

After several deep breaths of air, I inhale nearly a lungful of nitrous and pull some air down on top and then hold my breath. Within seconds, a light tingling can be felt which seems to increase in frequency. The sensation is much as if waves were traveling up your body or as if you were twisting or spinning. Disorientation increases rapidly and the pulsing sounds/feelings increase, wrapping over one another. It is now, with eyes shut, that I enter a dreamlike state, where I am thinking out something and the external world has essentially ceased to exist. The urge to breathe takes over at some point and partial or whole breaths taken. Open eyes reveal some sort of tunnel vision, with regions of disorientation about the outside. Slowly the throbbing subsides.

At other times I experience a sense of paranoia mixed with disorientation. I have a deep conviction while under the influence that all things are cycling together, that there is some deeper cyclical event occuring. It is as an experience of deja vu continually occuring. The feeling is profound and not altogether pleasant.

Please note: without the benefit of a dental examination, review of medical history and any necessary dental x-rays or other diagnostic aids, no attempt will be made to provide specific diagnosis or recommended courses of treatment. If a topic has not been included that you feel desires special mention, please call to schedule an appointment so we may answer all your questions.