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The typical dental check-up doesn’t usually require anesthesia, but not every visit runs smoothly for all people. A more intense procedure may necessitate sedation, not only to help dull the pain but to calm a nervous patient.


Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the safest method of choice for most dentists who determine a sedative is necessary. Universally well known as a dental anesthetic, laughing gas can be used alone or alongside other types of anesthesia.


Nitrous oxide is odorless and popular due to its ability to quickly relax patients, and produce a euphoric, pleasurable feeling, all while it dulls the pain receptors. Also, its effects are not long lasting and can be purged in short order with the administration of oxygen.


While rare, a minority of people may experience side effects. This occurs if the level of laughing gas administered is too high, or the volume being inhaled quickly changes.


Potential Side Effects:


– Fatigue

– Shivering

– Headache

– Sweating

– Nausea and Vomiting


After a dental procedure, the dentist will administer oxygen to remove any remaining laughing gas from the lungs, returning the patient to normal alertness. This will also keep the patient from getting a headache.


It is recommended that you eat a light meal before your dental visit where nitrous oxide will be inhaled, and refrain from eating anything heavy for at least 3 hours afterward. Also, check with your dentist if you are driving post procedure.


Dr. Eliot Tokowitz would be happy to answer your questions regarding dental anesthesia. Please contact Sheffield Square Dental Care at: 773-409-4097, or drop by in Chicago, Illinois.