Dental Anesthesia: What is Laughing Gas?

Dental Anesthesia: What is Laughing Gas?

Posted by SHEFFIELD SQUARE DENTAL CARE on Nov 29 2017, 10:23 AM

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 773-880-2310, or drop by in Chicago, Illinois.

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