Laughing Gas: The Dentist’s Choice in Anesthesia

Published on November 29, 2017 by

A normal dental appointment won’t necessarily require a sedative, but not every person can handle a visit to the dentist as well as some others. An extensive procedure may necessitate a type of anesthesia, not only to help dull the pain but calm an anxious patient.

Laughing gas, technically known as nitrous oxide, is the safest sedative of choice for most dentists who decide a sedative is necessary. Universally well known as a dental anesthetic, laughing gas can be used alone or with other types of dental anesthetics.

Nitrous oxide has no odor. Its popularity is because of its proficiency to produce a pleasurable, even euphoric feeling and to immediately relax patients, all while it dulls the pain. Also, its effects are easily vacated from the system simply by introducing oxygen.

While uncommon, some people may see side effects. This rarely occurs, and only when the level of laughing gas inhaled is too high, or the nitrous oxide is not fully purged from the lungs afterward.

Potential Side Effects:

– Shivering
– Sweating
– Headache
– Nausea and Vomiting
– Fatigue

After concluding a dental visit where laughing gas was administered, the dentist gives oxygen to the patient to remove any remaining gas from the lungs, returning the patient to normal wakefulness. This also avoids a headache.

While it is suggested that the potential patient eat something light before an operation where nitrous oxide will be used, but that they should keep from eating anything for at least 3 hours post-visit. Also, check with your dentist if you will be driving.

Dr. David Gonzalez would be happy to answer your questions regarding dental anesthesia. Please contact David Gonzalez at: 619-422-5365, or drop by in Chula Vista, California.

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