Laughing Gas: Why Dentists Use It

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Are you anxious about your next visit to the dentist? Will your child come out fine after their first dentist visit? What tools will the dentist place in your mouth? A visit to the dentist is always an anxious one; that is where laughing gas, also known as Nitrous Oxide, comes in. We will explain in detail below.

How a Laughing Gas Works

Nitrous Oxide (N20) is a mild sedative agent that dentists use to relieve the pain and anxiety of dental treatment. The odorless and colorless gas is usually mixed with oxygen and is passed to the patients through small masks that fit their noses.

N20 takes effect after some minutes and, contrary to its name, it does not necessarily make the patient laugh. Instead, it makes the patient less inhibited as it goes down their nervous system. The effects of this gas include light-headedness, heaviness in your arms and it can cause a tingly feeling.

Why Nitrous Oxide is Preferred

Medical experts agree that N20 is a safe and effective method for sedation, especially when providing dental services. Apart from causing quick relaxation for the patients, it wears off just as fast. Additionally, the gas does not cause sleep, so it is easy to listen and respond to the questions and instructions from your doctor.

The Possible Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide

As is always the case, sedatives can always cause varying side effects even though they are approved for use. The most common side effects of N20 include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Sleepiness

Fortunately, only a small number of patients experience these side effects.

Trust the Professionals

Dental visits don’t have to make you anxious; our experienced and professional dentists are here to take care of that. At Wytheville Dental Group, our dentists, amongst other things, are familiar with how the laughing gas works together with its possible side effects. With us, you are in safe hands.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with us.