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Peaceful Points: 4 Helpful Facts About Nitrous Oxide

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drflenniken @ 6:27 pm
Dentist putting nitrous oxide mask on patient

If you have an upcoming dental procedure or are incredibly anxious about visiting your dentist, then they may have offered nitrous oxide as a solution. This gaseous sedative is administered through a mask that’s placed over your nose so that you inhale this ‘laughing gas’ into your lungs with every breath. Many patients, however, reject it because they have misperceptions about what it is and how it works. Keep reading if you’re curious to learn these 4 facts about nitrous oxide.

Fact #1: It Will Not Put You to Sleep

It’s easy to assume that any anesthesia given during an invasive procedure like a root canal, for example, will put you to sleep. Plenty of people feel incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of someone working on their mouths while they’re unconscious! Fortunately, nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) will help relax your body and mind while you remain awake. You’ll still be able to hear and respond to your dentist the entire time, though you may feel tingly or light-headed. It’s a great way to alleviate your worry without knocking you out.

Fact #2: The Effects are Minimal

Part of the reason that laughing gas is so popular is that it works quickly and wears off almost immediately once the mask over your nose is removed. You’ll feel calm and perhaps somewhat foggy while your dentist works on your teeth, but you shouldn’t experience pain or discomfort. There’s a possibility that you might have some mild nausea after your appointment. The impact should be minimal, though, and you can expect it to dissipate relatively soon. You’ll even be able to drive yourself home afterward!

Fact #3: It is Safe for Children

If you have a child at home who is so nervous about visiting the dentist that you’ve avoided their appointments, nitrous oxide could be just the thing to help them make it through their checkup. It will help them stay still and quiet during their visit without any lasting implications. It’s considered safe for the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys because it doesn’t impact them. For this reason, it’s generally considered a helpful sedative for both children and adults.

Fact #4: It’s Possible to Have a Reaction

Though it’s typically not a harmful drug, it’s not necessarily right for everyone. Some people, for example, are allergic to it and have a negative reaction that includes difficulty breathing, hives, and a fever. Also, if you are pregnant or have a history of mental health issues or vitamin B-12 deficiencies, you should consult with your dentist or doctor before using laughing gas.

Now that you know more about this miracle drug, you can look forward to smooth sailing during your upcoming dental appointment!

About the Practice

At Flenniken Family Dentistry, you and your entire family benefit from two experts who provide a full array of dental services, including sedation dentistry. They don’t want your anxiety to keep you from getting the top-quality care you deserve, and so strive to do everything in their power to put you at ease. If you have additional questions about nitrous oxide or would like to request an appointment, you’re welcome to contact the office on the website or by calling (717) 249-7777.

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