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What You Should Know About Nitrous Oxide

January 25, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — fromuthlanglois @ 9:47 pm

Woman benefiting from laughing gas at the dentistIf you have a difficult time relaxing in the dentist’s chair or you need dental work, nitrous oxide dental sedation may be right for you. Better known as “laughing gas,” the inhaled sedative is a safe solution for patients of all ages, including children. Here’s what you should know about nitrous oxide. 

Nitrous Oxide Doesn’t Always Make you Laugh

Nitrous oxide is often called laughing gas because it can cause a case of giggles, but that doesn’t happen for everyone. Instead, you can expect to feel a slight tingling sensation throughout your body as you inhale the sedative through a mask placed over your nose. Your extremities may feel numb or heavy. It’s common to feel a little lightheaded, but you will reach deep relaxation. You will not be rendered unconscious and can still communicate with your dental team.

Wears Off Quickly

Some types of dental sedation can take several hours to wear off, but not nitrous oxide. After the mask over your nose is removed, you’ll feel completely normal within a few minutes. You can even drive yourself home from your appointment. 

Your Dentist Can Control the Amount Delivered

The administration of laughing gas is controlled by a knob and a switch to control the dosage. Your dentist will keep a close eye on the flowmeter to monitor the levels administered. They can increase or decrease the amount, depending on your needs.

Nitrous Oxide is Safe for Many Situations

Nitrous oxide is a common solution for patients with certain unique circumstances, like:

  • Fear of dental needles, drills, or the sounds and smells of the dental office.
  • A strong reflex.
  • Previous negative experience at the dentist.
  • Allergies to other types of sedation.
  • Difficulty staying in one position.

Laughing Gas is Safe

When administered by a trained professional, nitrous oxide is safe. It doesn’t damage your internal organs. In fact, there are very few dangers of laughing gas, other than feeling disoriented for a few minutes. Within 3-5 minutes after the mask is removed, you should feel just fine. 

Although it is safe, you’ll still require a consultation with a sedation dentist to ensure it is the best option for your situation. They’ll learn more about your medical history and any medications you’re taking for any potential concerns. Rest assured, they’ll create a safe, effective strategy to help you achieve optimal oral health.

About Dr. Robert C. Fromuth

Dr. Fromuth achieved his dental degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has regularly continued his education in cosmetic dentistry and many other specialties. He is a proud member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call his office at (603) 931-4137.

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