Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a sedation method offered to patients, regardless of age, who have anxiety during dental appointments or low pain tolerance.
Contrary to its name, laughing gas does not really make you laugh. It works to slow down your nervous system, making you feel more relaxed and less inhibited during your dental procedure.
If you or your child will have a dental procedure soon and wish to remain comfortable during the treatment, the Pine Desert Dental team has multiple sedation dentistry options available.
Nitrous Oxide is a mild sedative agent that helps reduce the pain and anxiety effects some patients may develop during dental treatments. The gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask. Once you breathe in, the effects will settle in almost immediately.
You will feel slightly light-headed and relaxed since the sedative effects of nitrous oxide are not intense and do not cause unconsciousness or amnesia (memory loss). The objective of the laughing gas is to reduce any anxiety or pain that your dental procedure may generate.
Nitrous Oxide is a safe and effective alternative for patients who would like to have a comfortable experience during their dental appointment without being completely unconscious.
Also, the effects of nitrous oxide work quickly during the procedure and wear off with ease by breathing pure oxygen through the mask.
Most patients do not develop adverse effects due to nitrous oxide. However, In rare cases some side effects could arise. These include:
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is recommended for patients who:
- Experience dental anxiety
- Want to increase their tolerance during longer appointments
- Have special healthcare needs
- Have a gag reflex that could interfere with the treatment
Remember to have a light meal 2 hours before your procedure and not eat anything until after.
Before your dental treatment starts, Dr. Sunitsch may ask you to sign a consent form to use sedation either for you or your child.
A nosepiece or mask will be placed on your mouth and nose area, through which you will breathe in the sedation gas with the guidance and help of your dentist.
The effects will appear almost immediately, and you’ll feel relaxed enough to start with your treatment.
Once the treatment has been completed, the effects of nitrous oxide will fade rapidly. If you feel nauseated or dizzy after you’ve taken off the mask, let your dentist know.
If your child has dental anxiety or you wish to help them remain as comfortable as possible during their appointment, nitrous oxide could be the ideal option. This gas is the most common option used in younger patients since it is very safe and the sedative effects wear off quickly.
There are some risk factors associated with the sedative use of nitrous oxide. If you have any of the following conditions, talk to your dentist:
- Currently pregnant
- Respiratory illnesses
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- History of mental health conditions or substance abuse
Pine Desert Dental offers sedation dentistry services, including nitrous oxide. Dr. Zach Sunitsch and the Pine Desert Dental team can handle all your dental needs.
Zack is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
At Pine Desert Dental, we offer comprehensive sedation dentistry for your dental procedures.
For more information, call us at (541) 549-0109 or request an appointment online. You can also visit us at our clinic in Sisters, Oregon.