Nitrous oxide and oxygen sedation: an update

Dent Assist. 2010 Jul-Aug;79(4):22-3, 26, 28-30; quiz 32, 34.


Nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation remains a viable option for managing a patient's pain and anxiety in the dental office. There are several advantages to its use and relatively few contraindications. Knowing how to minimize the operator's exposure to the gas is also an important consideration. N2O/O2 sedation has a long-standing history of safety and success and it is likely that this type of sedation will be used far into the future. It is necessary to educate the entire office team on the biohazard issues of nitrous oxide safety in the dental office and keep abreast of sound scientific literature in this area. Many states are starting to include nitrous oxide administration and monitoring in their state practice acts for dental assistants. Refer to your state practice act for current requirements in your location.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Anesthesia, Dental / methods*
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation* / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation* / analysis
  • Body Burden
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Contraindications
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Dental Waste / analysis
  • Humans
  • Nitrous Oxide* / adverse effects
  • Nitrous Oxide* / analysis
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B 12 / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Dental Waste
  • DNA
  • 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Oxygen