Conscious sedation is the safest and most effective alternative for people who are very anxious about receiving dental treatments or who are afraid of the dentist. It is induced by inhalation of a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide is a gas with calming and relaxing properties. It is considered the safest sedation agent. Once inhaled, it gives the patient a feeling of relaxation and well-being. Sensitivity to pain and uncomfortable reflexes such as gagging or swallowing are considerably lessened.
Unlike general anesthesia or a sedative whose effects are felt for several hours, those of nitrous oxide sedation have the advantage of disappearing after only 3 to 5 minutes following the session. Once the gas is removed, the patient quickly becomes fully conscious and is able to resume regular activities without problems.