If you are an anxious patient who dreads your dental check up, nitrous oxide, also known as happy or laughing gas, can make your experience much more pleasant. Today we are going to answer the question of how does nitrous oxide work, and find out how it can benefit patients who are nervous or anxious when getting dental treatments. At Sans Souci Dental we are committed to ensuring our patients have a relaxed experience with every visit.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a clear gas whose administration falls under the category of sedation dentistry. Also known as inhalation analgesia, laughing gas is inhaled through a mask that is placed over your nose and mask. And, while its name might be slightly misleading in the sense that you will not actually be giggling with laughter, its effects ensure your dental experience is pleasant and relaxed.
The Benefits Of Nitrous Oxide In Dental Procedures
Laughing gas can be used for all dental procedures, from a routine check up to something more complex like a dental implant procedure. In some cases, patients ask for happy gas to be administered if they have a fear of needles, and are worried about the administration of local anaesthetic via injection.
How Does It Work?
When you breathe the laughing gas in, it replaces air in your lungs and stops oxygen from reaching your blood and brain. It deprives you of oxygen and can make you feel more relaxed and less fearful of your procedure.
It also reduces pain and generates feelings of euphoria so you don’t worry during your dental treatment.
The effects of happy gas can be felt very soon after inhalation, and also wear off quite quickly after your dentist has stopped administering it.
This means you will be able to drive yourself home afterwards.
The Benefits Of Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide can help anxious patients to get important dental treatments that they might otherwise avoid out of anxiety. It is especially useful for children’s dental treatments and for patients who:
- Fear needles
- Fear medical / hospital environments
- Have a previous trauma that inhibits them from seeking dental treatment.
While I Still Be Awake During The Procedure?
Yes, nitrous oxide will not put you to sleep during your procedure. You will be awake and aware of what is happening, and you will be able to respond to instructions and questions.
What Are The Side Effects Of Nitrous Oxide?
Some people experience mild hallucinations from laughing gas. Others may feel a bit confused after the effects of the gas have worn off. Your dentist will need to feed you oxygen afterwards, to prevent a headache from developing.
Still curious about how does nitrous oxide work? Your dentist will probably test some laughing gas on you prior to your treatment, to get an idea of what sort of dose you will require. To find out more about happy gas and whether it could work for you, please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8073 9218.