Questions About Sedation Dentistry

Do you feel a bit apprehensive about an upcoming dental treatment, or about visiting your dentist in general? A little anxiety is common when it comes to extensive dental procedures, but for many people, it’s also frequent to grow restless at the mere thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair. From helping you relax to helping you overcome a debilitating dental fear so you can receive treatment, sedation dentistry is often an invaluable resource in modern, comfortable dental treatment.

What is laughing gas made of?

The safest and most-commonly used form of sedation dentistry is laughing gas—an informal name for nitrous oxide and oxygen. The gaseous sedative earned its nickname for the light-hearted, slightly-euphoric feeling it produces when you inhale it. Laughing gas is administered through a mask, and your level of sedation can be adjusted as needed throughout your procedure.

Are there any lasting effects of nitrous oxide sedation?

When you inhale nitrous oxide through the mask over your nose, you immediately exhale it through your mouth. The effects are almost instantaneous, but more importantly, since the sedative doesn’t remain in your system long, the feeling will wear off almost as fast after your treatment is completed. Unlike other forms of dental sedation, nitrous oxide sedation won’t leave you groggy, and you can usually drive yourself home from your appointment.

What dental procedures might require sedation?

Sedation isn’t a routine part of any specific dental treatment, and the need and dosage depends on each specific case. Typically, however, sedation is recommended in addition to local anesthesia for patients who need extensive restorative treatment, such as root canal therapy or a tooth extraction. At your consultation, during which we’ll thoroughly examine and discuss your dental health, as well as a complete list of your treatment options, we’ll help you determine if nitrous oxide sedation is the right choice for you.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.