What Does Laughing Gas Do To A Dental Patient?

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Learn what laughing gas is and what it does to a dental patient.

While most of your dental visits will be a simple checkup, there may come a time when you need a dental procedure. Some procedures require laughing gas to be administered, which is an effective and safe sedative. If you’re curious about laughing gas and what it does to a dental patient, continue reading!

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, or more commonly known as laughing gas, is a colorless and odorless local sedation method. The gas is effective as a sedative for dental procedures because it allows patients to relax and feel happy, pleasurable feelings. It is also very fast-acting, and its effects are reversible, so it is widely considered to be a safe sedation method for patients.

Side Effects

The California Dental Association (CDA) reports that only a minority of patients experience any negative side effects, and they are all very minor. The side effects can occur if the nitrous level is too high, or if the amount a patient is inhaling changes quickly. Since laughing gas is only administered by a trained professional, there is a low chance that you will experience any of the potential side effects, which include headaches, shivering, excessive sweating, nausea, and fatigue.

Once the nitrous oxide is turned off, patients should receive oxygen for at least five minutes to avoid a headache. The oxygen helps to remove any remaining gas from the lungs and aids the patient to become alert and awake. 

Post Procedure

Talk to your dentist about the procedure beforehand and ask any questions you have about the recovery process. Your dentist will likely suggest that you should eat lightly before the procedure, then avoid eating a large meal for about three hours afterward. Also, ask your dentist about when it is safe to perform tasks such as driving after the procedure.

Laughing Gas For Kids

Laughing gas is not only safe for children, but it is the preferred sedation method for kids who are nervous or anxious about the dental procedure. However, everyone is different, so it’s important to discuss the topic with your child’s dentist to determine the best sedation method for them. 

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity

Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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