At The Gap Dental Practice, we understand that some people get nervous when they visit the dentist. As a solution to dental anxiety, we offer nitrous oxide, which can help calm any nerves you may have. In this guide, we’ll tell you what nitrous oxide is and how it works.
What is Laughing Gas?
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is also commonly known as laughing gas. This is because it provides patients with a sense of relaxation and sometimes euphoria.
Laughing gas is a local sedation method. It’s a colourless, odourless, non-irritating gas that is inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose. It relaxes patients, giving them pleasurable feelings.
Is Laughing Gas Safe?
Laughing gas is widely considered to be a safe sedation method for both adults and children (although your dentist will always check that laughing gas is right for you).
Discovered over 150 years ago, laughing gas is one of the most common forms of dental anaesthetic. This is partially because your dentist can control how much sedation you receive throughout your procedure. In addition to this, the effects of laughing gas aren’t long lasting. They usually wear off in a couple of minutes.
To make sure laughing gas is right for you, your dentist will check your medical history and ask you about any medication you’re taking, as well as your general fitness levels and health.
What is Laughing Gas Used for?
Many dentists offer nitrous oxide to help their patients feel comfortable during certain procedures, especially if those patients suffer from nerves or anxiety.
Sadly, many patients do not get regular dental check-ups or do not undergo treatment because they have dental anxiety. However, laughing gas can help you overcome your anxiety, leaving you feeling comfortable and relaxed during dental procedures.
Does Laughing Gas Put Me to Sleep?
Crucially, laughing gas is not designed to put you to sleep. When you undergo a procedure with laughing gas, you will be able to hear and respond to your dentist and their questions or demands.
As well as feeling warm, positive sensations, it’s likely that you’ll remember very little from the procedure itself.
How Long Until Laughing Gas Takes Effect?
Once the mask is placed over your nose, your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose. From this point, it will take only a couple of minutes for you to begin to feel the effects of the laughing gas.
It is normal for you to feel slightly light-headed or feel a tingling sensation in your arms and legs. Overall though, the nitrous oxide will simply make you feel comfortable and calm.
After the procedure, the mask will be removed from your nose. Following this, the effects of the nitrous oxide will wear off in a couple of minutes. This means that you can drive home following the procedure.
At The Gap Dental Practice, we offer nitrous oxide to all our patients who feel nervous. If you think that nitrous oxide could be a good option for you, then call us on 07 3300 1277 or contact us to learn more.