The teams at our Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry offices make your comfort a priority. We provide sedation dentistry to keep you feeling relaxed while we take care of your smile. Nitrous oxide is one of the most common sedatives we use. You might know it better as “laughing gas,” and it is known for creating feelings of heightened euphoria.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Many of our patients find that nitrous oxide helps ease their dental fears. It’s a safe painkiller that also leaves them feeling totally at ease throughout their treatment. The sedative is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask over the nose. The sweet-smelling gas begins to work within five minutes, so we can start treatment fast. Some of the feelings patients report experiencing include:
- Sense of well-being
- Happiness or silliness
- Numbness in mouth, hands, or feet
- Hearing changes
One reason our team loves using nitrous oxide with anxious patients is that they remain conscious throughout the procedure. That means we can ask questions and make sure that you’re feeling okay for your entire visit. It also increases patient comfort, so we’re able to complete our work in a more efficient manner.
Who Can Use Nitrous Oxide
We can use laughing gas for most of our patients, even our younger patients. As long as they can leave the mask alone, we’re able to use it to help children and adults alike relax. If you meet any of the following criteria, though, you may not be a good candidate.
- Stuffy nose
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Recent head injury
- Ear infection
- Medicated for a psychiatric condition
Nitrous oxide’s effects begin to wear off almost as soon as we take the mask off and you start breathing regular oxygen again. It can take up to 15 minutes to feel totally normal again, but you should be able to drive yourself after the procedure with no issues.
FAQs About Nitrous Oxide
Is nitrous oxide conscious sedation?
Yes, laughing gas is a form of conscious sedation. This means you stay fully awake while enjoying the relaxation and pain-killing benefits of the sedative.
Will my appointment be painless with nitrous oxide?
While nitrous oxide alleviates discomfort and anxiety associated with some treatments we provide, you may need additional pain management. Before we begin your procedure, we’ll go over all of your pain-relief and sedation options and which is best for your needs.
Is nitrous oxide safe?
Nitrous oxide is safe for most of our patients. Let us know if you have any medical conditions that might keep you from being able to use the sedative. Side effects you may experience include dizziness, nausea, and headaches, though all of these are rare.