Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is a type of sedation administered through inhalation. You inhale the gas through a mask placed over your nose and mouth. The sedative takes effect quickly and wears off almost as soon as you take off the mask. This means that you can resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. Inhalation sedation is recommended for patients with mild anxiety.
With oral sedation, you take a pill about an hour or two before your appointment, so you are completely calm and relaxed during the procedure. The dosage is determined beforehand during a consultation. Oral sedatives produce mild to moderate levels of sedation. You are conscious, but if you do fall asleep, you can be easily awakened by the dentist. Patients have different reactions to oral sedatives, and the effects may last longer for some people.
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