Going to the dentist can be a source of anxiety for many people. One effective way to mitigate this anxiety is through nitrous oxide sedation. Nitrous oxide sedation (most commonly known as “laughing gas”) is not a full anesthesia. It is a colorless, odorless gas that will simply help you to relax. You will be fully conscious and functioning while under the effects of nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide affects everybody a little differently. You may feel a tingling sensation in your arms and legs. You may also feel lightheaded and your limbs may feel droopy. Overall, you will feel calm and relaxed. The effects of nitrous oxide stop as soon as you stop breathing in the gas, so you don’t need to worry about any sort of impairment after your treatment.
In rare instances, you may experience side effects with Nitrous Oxide. These can include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and shivering. It is important to eat lightly before and after receiving the gas. After inhaling nitrous oxide for treatment, your dentist may have you breathe pure oxygen for a few minutes. This will help to cut down on any potential side effects from the nitrous oxide. Avoid eating anything too heavy for a few hours after your treatment.
Nitrous oxide is both safe and effective for children, especially when they are nervous about dental treatment. If your child is anxious about the dentist, discuss the option ahead of time. This can make their entire visit and procedure run smoothly.
Nitrous oxide may not be for everybody. If you are pregnant or if you suffer from drug addiction, you may want to forgo it. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have with nitrous oxide.