Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is a colorless, sweet-smelling gas. This gas is combined with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Nitrous oxide is one of the safest sedative agents used in the dental field.
What is nitrous oxide?
A gas that has been used for decades to help ease patients’ anxieties before a procedure, nitrous oxide is often referred to as laughing gas. This colorless, sweet-smelling gas helps ease a patient’s nerves by decreasing anxiety and relaxing the muscles. At our office, we provide both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide is the most commonly used form of dental sedation.
When inhaled through the nose, the gas works to block pain receptors in the brain and increase the patient’s ability to relax. It also decreases blood pressure and reduces sensitivity in the jaw. Because of its fast-acting effects, it is typically only used during the first part of dental work. Once the procedure is done, the nitrous oxide stops being effective, and the lingering effects of the gas wear off quickly. Typically, patients are able to leave as soon as they are finished with their visit.
When is nitrous oxide used?
Dentists use nitrous oxide for patients who experience mild anxiety or nervousness before a dental procedure. It is also a good solution for patients with medical conditions that make anesthesia unsafe, although these patients may require additional medication to offset the risks. Learn more about the types of sedation dentistry available by contacting our dentist today.
Is nitrous oxide safe?
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a safe option to help you feel relaxed during any dental treatment. It is not intended to put you to sleep but simply relax you while you are in the dentist’s chair. Laughing gas can be mixed with oxygen for minimal sedation, or it can be added in a high enough percentage to cause you to fall asleep. This is sometimes referred to as “conscious sedation.”
Dentists are highly trained to administer nitrous oxide and will make sure everything is right with your health before administering it. Many dentists also train in the administration of general anesthesia, which requires additional schooling. Most patients tolerate nitrous oxide well and have no side effects to worry about. However, if you begin to feel lightheaded, nauseous, or have a headache, let your dentist know right away, and they can administer more medication as necessary.
Laughing gas has a lovely calming effect on most patients, making them feel at ease during their treatment and cleanings. It is especially good for patients with a strong gag reflex who feel anxious at the dentist’s office. It is also great for patients who have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time, such as children.
If you’re interested in learning more about nitrous oxide and how you can use it to help you experience more relaxed dental care, contact our dental office near you today!
Call us at 773-880-2310 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment. Visit Sheffield Square Dental Care at 2835 N. Sheffield Ave, Suite 305, Chicago, IL 60657.