Laughing gas is sometimes necessary at the dentist’s office for patients who experience a little bit of anxiety or fear of sitting through the procedure. A gas called nitrous oxide is inhaled right before the procedure, giving the patient a feeling of calm, allowing them to gain access to their most needed dental procedures.
Generally speaking, laughing gas is considered perfectly safe, so much so that it is even recommended for children who also might have a bit of difficulty remaining still in the dentist’s chair. However, as with any drug or medical procedure, there can be certain side effects.
When too much is inhaled too quickly, laughing gas can cause:
These instances are rare, but if they happen to you, your dentist will quickly give you oxygen to counter the effects of the nitrous oxide. This will help you become more alert, and clear the laughing gas from your body.
If you’ve never had laughing gas before, you are likely wondering about the potential risk of an allergic reaction. It is possible to be allergic to this gas, and common symptoms of it will include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical assistance right away.
Regarding any potential long-term side effects for nitrous oxide, there is not a lot of evidence to indicate this risk. Most symptoms wear off after the gas leaves your system.
No matter if it’s for adults or children, a dentist will never recommend any form of sedation unless they feel it is truly necessary. At the same time, the decision regarding which type of sedation will be used is done only once the dentist reviews your medical profile.
Patients experiencing the following conditions may not be good candidates for laughing gas:
Once the dentist helps you choose the right sedation, you will also be instructed on all the potential risks and benefits. You will be continuously monitored throughout the procedure to ensure your safety, and the dentist will have certain protocols to follow in case of an adverse reaction to sedation in order to reduce your side effects.
At Confident Smiles & Implants, we understand that certain dental procedures might give our patients a bit of anxiety, so we want to do everything we can to help them feel comfortable and safe. Laughing gas might be the solution they need, but it is far from the only one, and we always help our patients make an informed decision regarding their dental health.
Book a consultation with Dr. Luis or Dr. Tori Mariusso to get started.