As a mild anesthetic, we do not use nitrous oxide alone. Instead, we administer it with about 30% oxygen to keep the patient alive. Also, it acts as a better pain reliever than carbon (iv)oxide.
During surgical procedure, it is inhaled through a small mask fixed over the patient’s nose and the patient breathes normally through the nose. The patient remains conscious and can hear and respond to the dentist’s instructions but feels relaxed and comfortable.
However, over sedation with this gas can cause sleepiness and can lead to side effects such as nausea. If such unpleasant sensation occurs, remove the mask as the effects of this gas can wear off soon after the mask has been taken off.
The anesthetic effect of nitrous oxide is rapid and wears off within 5 minutes after its inhalation. We can control the administration of accidental overdoses by administering this gas incrementally. Thus, we control and monitor nitrous oxide during oral surgery to make its use safe.