What is nitrous oxide?

What is nitrous oxide?

In a previous post, we talked about ways that we can help ease the anxiety of going to the dentist. Nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) was at the top of the list:

“This safe relaxing agent is breathed in through a mask that takes you to your happy place. Nerves are calmed. Teeth are taken care of, and you’re on your way.”

So, here are more details on what you need to know about laughing gas:

Nitrous oxide is a colorless and odorless gas that helps patients relax and become indifferent to discomfort. It is inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose. It works extremely fast and its effects are reversible. It doesn’t put you to sleep or take the place of local anesthetic.

Once your teeth are taken care of and the nitrous oxide has been turned off, you are placed on 100% oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes to purge the gas from your system. This helps you become alert and awake.

Nitrous oxide is safe for children and is often the preferred method of sedation for treating children. It is recommended that people with some conditions, such as first trimester of pregnancy and COPD, avoid the use of nitrous oxide. It is also recommended that you do not use nitrous oxide on an empty stomach. Possible side effects include headache, shivering/sweating, nausea and fatigue.

Have more questions? Give our office a call!

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