Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is one of many options used by dentists practicing sedation dentistry. It has been used by medical professionals for over two hundred years because of its high level of safety and efficacy, and low level of risk.
Why Do People Call Nitrous Oxide Laughing Gas?
Nitrous oxide is often referred to as laughing gas because of the intoxicating effects that are felt when inhaling the substance. After ingesting laughing gas, patients often feel tingly, warm and relaxed, sometimes causing bouts of laughter and euphoria.
Why Do Dentists Use Nitrous Oxide?
There are a variety of reasons why dentists choose nitrous oxide as an anesthetic. These include:
- Nitrous oxide is an extremely effective anesthetic that provides a general numbness and calming effect that can reduce physical and emotional discomfort and significantly reduce the anxiety felt by a patient who is nervous about a dental procedure.
- Laughing gas allows the patient to remain conscious and communicate with the dentist throughout the procedure
- It is easily customizable. Because its effect kick in right away and wears off quickly, it gives the dentist the ability to increase or decrease the level of sedation based on how the patient is feeling.
- It is nearly free from risk or side effects. It has been proven to be safe for all your internal organs, and the main danger that is associated with this form of sedation dentistry is the disorientation effects which could cause a patient to slip and fall once the procedure is finished and they get up from the dentist’s chair. Since the effects only last a few minutes, this risk is extremely minimal and can be completely avoided by having the patient remain seated in the dental chair until they feel back to normal.
- There are no lingering effects of laughing gas once the sedation wears off. While a patient is usually cleared to resume regular activities within minutes after the procedure, it is important to confirm this with your dentist as every situation is unique.
- It is administered in a non-invasive way requiring no needles.
How Is Nitrous Oxide Administered?
Dr. Sayeh Maralani, your dentist in North York will go through the steps you should expect before the nitrous oxide is administered and the procedure begins. The first step will be connecting a mask to a tank of nitrous oxide. The mask will then be placed over the patient’s face and the patient will be asked to breathe in deeply, absorbing the anesthetic through the lungs. The sedation effects are felt almost instantly.
If you’d like to learn more about sedation dentistry and how it might benefit you, call Lilac Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment. We’ll assess your current oral health and discuss the various sedation options available for your dental treatments.