Are you nervous about a dental procedure? Don't worry. Laughing gas is a tool dentists use for anyone who might experience pain during a very extensive surgery. It is composed of nitrogen and oxygen. This odorless, colorless gas, officially known as nitrous oxide or N2O, probably will not make you laugh while you're in your dentist's chair. However, for those who are anxious during dental treatment, this sedative and anti-anxiety agent commonly can help promote a sense of relaxation, calm and overall well-being.
It's Side Effects
Laughing gas is known to have few side effects and, therefore, can be used in patients of all ages. This gas is used alone and with local anesthetics and analgesic agents. Laughing gas itself is a form of what is known as "conscious sedation." Though it will leave tired little patients who opt for conscious sedation as their only form of treatment remains awake and responsive throughout the dental procedure.
Nitrous oxide is a smart choice and widely used for many minor procedures such as dental crown placement or wisdom teeth extraction. In fact, the sedative effects quickly disappear after discontinuation. And, unlike most other forms of sedation dentistry, you can eat within 12 hours of the procedure.
Manage Laughing gas: Inhale, Exhale
The best part of laughing gas is that no needles are required for administration. Instead, the gas is inhaled through a rubber mask. Your dentist will adjust the amount delivered based on your needs.
Contrary to popular belief, laughing gas is not a pain reliever. Dental procedures requiring pain treatment require additional agents; your dentist will prescribe and use these agents as needed.
Are you a good candidate for Laughing gas?
Although nitrous oxide is a safe choice for most dental patients, some considerations must be taken before this treatment. Be sure to discuss your complete medical history with your dentist. If you fall into any of the groups listed below, think through the pros and cons of using laughing gas before opting to use this agent:
- History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Serious emotional problems
- Drug Dependence
- The first trimester of pregnancy
You should note that regardless of your situation, your dentist is there to help you make an informed decision. If you are looking for a great dentist, we can help you find one! You can see our comments on dentists online or speak to an operator 24 hours.