Laughing gas is another term for nitrous oxide, a type of sedating anesthesia used to help you relax and to prevent discomfort during dental treatments. Laughing gas is breathed in through a special mask that fits securely over the nose, leaving the mouth free for dental work. While historically it's been used most often in children, many adults also use laughing gas to reduce anxiety while in the dental chair.
Yes, laughing gas has been safely used in dentistry for decades. It's an ideal option for pediatric patients because it doesn't require an IV line like sedation does and it can help relax your child without medication. Unlike sedating drugs which can take hours to leave the body, the effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the gas is turned off. During dental treatment, laughing gas is given in precise amounts, and your child will be monitored throughout treatment so the gas can be turned off at any time.
No, laughing gas usually just makes patients feel sleepy and relaxed, but does not cause them to sleep.
Yes, many patients are treated with both nitrous oxide and local injections into the gum around the tooth to help reduce anxiety and pain. The nitrous oxide can be given prior to the injection to reduce stress in children who are especially nervous about needles.
Different patients report different effects, like feelings of deep relaxation or elation. In rare instances, patients may feel nauseous or unsettled. During treatment, your child's reaction to the gas will be monitored, and gas can be stopped at any time if your child feels nauseous or if the gas causes other unpleasant effects.
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