Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is non-irritating, colorless gas inhaled through a mask. It has been the primary sedative used in dentistry for many years, is safe, and still allows the patient control of their breathing and bodily movements and functions. While not quite causing the gut-busting laughter seen in movies, “laughing gas” may cause you to fall asleep during the procedure. The level of sedation can be manipulated very easily, and it is quick acting—requiring only 2-3 minutes before taking full effect. And while considered extremely safe, you should discuss any health issues you may have with the dentist to decide if nitrous oxide is right for you.