Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in patients. Administered through a small mask that fits over the patient's nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. The patient will be asked to breathe through their nose and not through their mouth. As the gas begins to work, the patient will become calm, although the patient will still be awake and able to talk with the dentist.
At the end of the appointment, the patient will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear and the patient is fine to resume normal activities.