Probably the most common form of sedation in the dental office is nitrous oxide, or "laughing gas." Also called inhalation analgesia – and used to alleviate pain when giving birth, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – nitrous oxide does not put you to sleep, and is effective at reducing your anxiety about a dental procedure. It is very safe and provided in most dental offices. Local injections of anesthesia, which are still used in combination with nitrous oxide, now see consistent effectiveness, and some are practically painless. Nonetheless, the gas can be administered by a machine to further reduce the discomfort of the injection.