People who suffer from anxiety or fear when they visit the dentist can often benefit from dental sedation. There are a number of different sedatives available, but one of the most common is laughing gas.
The gas, which is actually nitrous oxide, is colorless. When administered, it helps to ease the patient's anxiety and promote relaxation.
In some cases, it is used alone. However, nitrous oxide may also be paired with other sedation medicines, depending on the needs of the patient.
Here is a bit of additional information about laughing gas to help you determine whether or not it is right for you.
How Is Nitrous Oxide Administered?
The gas is inhaled through a mask or a cannula. A cannula is a thin tube that is positioned under your nose, where it releases a mixture of the laughing gas and oxygen. When a mask is used, the dentist places it over your nose and mouth.
Once the cannula or mask is in place, the dentist asks you to breathe deeply. As you inhale, the medicine is diffused through your lungs, where it is absorbed. The resulting sedation begins in only a few moments and lasts for the duration of the gas' release.
When Is Nitrous Oxide Typically Used?
Nitrous oxide is used to provide sedation when only a light sedative is needed to relieve anxiety or minor discomfort, especially when an invasive dental service is being performed. Some dentists only apply the gas when the patient experiences fear or discomfort from the sound or sensations experienced during their treatment.
The gas can help alleviate the stress associated with procedures, such as drilling or extracting a tooth. When a restorative treatment is performed, a local anesthesia may be administered for pain relief, and the laughing gas can help the patient relax during the procedure.
How Do Patients Feel After Receiving Laughing Gas?
After the gas is administered, the patient feels relaxed. Additionally, they may experience a dreamy sensation. Nevertheless, the gas does not render the patient unconscious.
As soon as the flow of the gas is stopped, the patient begins to feel normal almost immediately. In many cases, they can safely operate a vehicle to return home from the appointment.
Is the Gas Considered Safe?
Laughing gas is considered safe, and most people do not react negatively to its administration. However, a few patients may experience a bit of nausea.
To learn more about laughing gas, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.