What Should I Know About Nitrous Oxide Sedation at the Dentist’s Office?

February 13, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Owen @ 8:42 pm
Dentist smiles

Laughing gas has been portrayed hilariously but not accurately in a great many cartoons and comedy shows. The truth is that nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is a tried-and-proven form of sedation that rarely has any side effects. Dentists have used it for more than two centuries to help patients sit more comfortably through dental procedures like fillings. Here are a few facts about laughing gas so you can have a better idea of what to expect the next time you need it.

Laughing Gas Is Administered Through a Hose

One of the reasons that nitrous oxide is such a successful form of dental sedation is that it does not require any injections or intravenous feeds that can make many patients apprehensive. Since nitrous oxide is a gas, it is administered through a hose to a mask that fits over the patient’s nose. All the patient must do is breathe normally to begin feeling its effects within seconds. After the mask is removed, the body will naturally purge itself of the gas and its effects by exhaling and inhaling.

Laughing Gas Is Safe and Effective When Administered by a Professional

The effects of laughing gas only last for about five minutes after the mask has been removed and it will not cause any damage to your internal organs. It is safe for use in both children and adults and involves no recovery after the effects wear off. The only real danger of using laughing gas is tripping and falling due to dizziness, but this can be easily prevented by waiting a few minutes before getting out of the dentist’s chair.

Laughing Gas Has Been Used for More than Two Hundred Years

An English scientist named Joseph Priestly discovered nitrous oxide in 1793. Since then, it has shown itself to be a safe and effective sedation method and has become one of the most common anesthetics used in the dental field. However, nitrous oxide is not suitable for everyone, and people who are in an early stage of pregnancy, deal with respiratory issues, or have a history of substance abuse may not be good candidates for this treatment. Your dentist will take care to thoroughly discuss your medical history before administering laughing gas.

Laughing gas is a great way to keep you comfortable during dental procedures or even to take the edge off an appointment if you have dental anxiety. This safe form of sedation has helped many people have pleasant experiences at the dentist’s office.

About the Practice

PeaksView Dental makes dentistry a pleasant and comfortable experience for patients in Bedford, VA. Led by Drs. Jay Owen, Rudy Wolf, Philip S. Walerko, and David L. Polk, the team ensures each patient receives personalized treatment in a safe and compassionate environment. Areas of expertise include general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry in addition to dental sedation services. For more information on what nitrous oxide can do for you, contact the office online or dial (540) 586-8106.