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If you’ve ever undergone a dental procedure, you may have some experience with nitrous oxide. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that has been used in medical and dental offices for many years to reduce stress and anxiety for patients. It’s natural to have questions, so our team at Pearly Whites Dental Care has put together a guide to nitrous oxide and how it works.
What is nitrous oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a gas that’s composed of two parts nitrogen and one part oxygen. It’s also known as “laughing gas” because it can cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and giddiness in some people. Nitrous oxide has been used since the late 1700s to reduce anxiety during medical procedures.
What is nitrous oxide used for?
Nitrous oxide is used primarily as an inhaled sedative during dental and medical procedures. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and pain by calming nerves. In some cases, it can replace the need for local anesthesia or general anesthesia. It is often used during procedures like root canals, dental extractions, and fillings.
How does nitrous oxide work?
Nitrous oxide works by attaching to receptors in the brain that control emotion. It reduces feelings of anxiety and pain by blocking the pathways that lead to fearful or painful thoughts. The effects of nitrous oxide are felt within seconds of inhalation, making it a fast acting alternative to traditional anesthesia.
How is nitrous oxide administered?
Nitrous oxide is administered through a mask that’s placed over the patient’s nose. The gas is mixed with oxygen and carefully monitored by a trained dental professional. The mixture can be adjusted based on the patient’s needs, allowing for maximum comfort during the procedure. If you can still feel any discomfort, let your dentist know and they can adjust the mix.
What are the side effects of nitrous oxide?
The most common side effects of nitrous oxide are dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. These side effects subside quickly once the gas has been stopped. Rarely, some people may experience a feeling of euphoria. Nitrous oxide is a safe form of sedation that doesn’t require any recovery time. It generally does not affect motor skills, so you can even drive home after your dental visit.
Is nitrous oxide safe?
Nitrous oxide is very safe, making it an ideal option for people who are uneasy about dental procedures or injections. It’s a non-addictive form of sedation that has been used in medical and dental offices for decades. If you have any questions about the safety of nitrous oxide, we encourage you to talk to your dental provider.
Contact Our Morrisville Dentist Today
When you’re ready for a Morrisville dentist appointment, the team at Pearly Whites Dental Care is here to help. We use nitrous oxide to reduce anxiety and relax our patients during procedures. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your next visit as comfortable as possible.