Nitrous Oxide Sedation (Laughing Gas)
The use of nitrous oxide sedation in a dental office has many advantages, especially in the treatment of children. The Nitrous Oxide is mixed with Oxygen, which makes it safe to use for long periods of time if needed. Laughing gas has been known to diminish feelings of pain and discomfort during treatment when used correctly in a dental setting.
Advantages of Nitrous Oxide
- It works very rapidly, producing relaxation and pain-relieving properties within 2-3 minutes.
- The depth of sedation can be altered from moment to moment, giving the dentist complete control to administer the gas for the exact time span that it is needed for.
- There is no residual effect after treatment is complete. The gas is eliminated from the body within 3-5 minutes after the system is turned off after treatment.
- Patients are fully awake during the use of nitrous oxide, but they feel comfortable and safe.
- In many cases, routine fillings are able to be done without any injections at all, depending on the size of the cavity, so the child is able to eat shortly after the procedure, instead of waiting for several hours, while anesthesia is wearing off.
Disadvantages of Nitrous Oxide
- If your child is prone to nausea, it is a good idea not to have a heavy meal 4 hours prior to the appointment.
- If your child is badly congested, it may make it difficult for them to breathe the nitrous oxide correctly to become effective.
Are there any contraindications?
There aren’t any major contraindications to the use of nitrous oxide, except for Multiple Sclerosis, Emphysema and some more severe chest problems. It is also recommended that pregnant women remain outside of the areas where nitrous oxide is administered, for the safety of their baby. There are no known allergies to nitrous oxide.