Dental Health Topics

Analgesia - Dental Procedure Code Description

This dental procedure code applies to the use of nitrous oxide inhalation to reduce anxiety during a variety of procedures.


The code refers only to anxiety-controlling drugs, not local anesthetic, and is commonly used if you were to undergo surgery and require nitrous oxide, as opposed to routine dental procedures.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a colorless and nearly odorless gas used as a sedative to reduce anxiety during a dental visit or during surgery. It is generally delivered via tubing connected to small mask that’s placed over your nose.


There are varying degrees of sedation that can be achieved by using nitrous oxide. The effects range from mild tingling and euphoria to drowsiness, depending on the level of the gas used and percentage mixed with oxygen.
Nitrous Oxide has been used for dental treatments since its discovery in 1772, and is directed mainly at achieving the following outcomes: 

  • Reduce or eliminate anxiety
  • Minimize movement during dental treatment
  • Enhance the clarity of communication and aid patient cooperation
  • Temporarily increase one's pain threshold
  • Increase tolerance for longer appointments
  • Aid in treatment of the mentally/physically disabled or medically compromised patient
  • Reduce gagging
  • Enhance the effect of sedatives

To look up and find more CDT dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.