Nitrous oxide, more commonly called “laughing gas”, is one of the most preferred forms of sedation dentistry available. Sedation dentistry helps countless patients receive dental care in a comfortable and painless way – despite the fears, anxieties and apprehensions they may have about the dentist. But what exactly is laughing gas? And what can you expect from your experience?
FAQ About Nitrous Oxide
What is nitrous oxide?
It is a colorless and odorless gas containing a sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen. This “happy” gas has been used in dentistry since 1844!
How is nitrous oxide administered?
Nitrous oxide is comfortably and easily administered. By simply wearing a small nose piece or mask, you’ll gently inhale the nitrous oxide gas. Within minutes, you’ll feel its relaxing effects.
How will it make me feel?
Most people go through five stages of sedation, such as light-headedness, a tingling sensation in the arms and legs, a warm feeling, a feeling of euphoria, and then a sleepy feeling. While some patients do fall asleep, most remain awake but still able to communicate with the dentist if desired. The term “laughing gas” refers to the feeling of happiness that nearly all patients feel when receiving this form of sedation.
How long does it take for the gas wear off? Are there any lingering side effects?
One of the most valued benefits of nitrous oxide is that it works fast and wears off fast. Within a few minutes of removing the mask after your procedure, the sedative is eliminated from your body. There are no unwanted side effects. In fact, you can safely drive yourself home from your appointment!
Should I have an empty or full stomach before getting nitrous oxide?
It is best to have a light meal or hearty snack a few hours before your appointment. Nausea can sometimes result if your stomach is too full or too empty.
Is it safe for children to use?
Absolutely! Nitrous oxide is considered safe for children over 3 years of age. In fact, nitrous oxide is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.
Think nitrous oxide could help you or your child receive dental care in a more positive way? Let us know. At Salt Run Dentistry, we go above and beyond to make dental visits comfortable and relaxing.
Salt Run Family Dentistry
St. Augustine, FL 32080