Laughing Gas

Laughing Gas

You've heard of it. You may have even experienced its effects. Laughing gas has a funny name, but its influence on patients at the dentist's clinic is anything but a laughing matter. 

Laughing gas has various uses. For example, if you visit the dentist's office for a small dental surgery, the dentist may subject you to it. They will use the gas to make you relax for the duration of the operation as an anesthetic. Dentists may often use it as a mellow calmative for other dental procedures as well.

In this blog, we will learn what exactly laughing gas is, what it is used for, and whether it's safe. So be sure to keep reading till the end to know it all!

What is Laughing Gas?

The technical name of the laughing gas is nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing or funny gas, it is an odorless, non-flammable gas. The gas has been in use for over 150 years in the dental field. Dentists use it on both children and adult patients to calm them down before a procedure. 

Before using the gas, your doctor will ask for your consent before they start the machine. You will receive the gas through a mask, hood, or nasal spray. You will retain some form of consciousness during the procedure. After the process is over, the dentist will remove the mask. 

In some cases, especially for children, the dentist will ply them with 100% pure oxygen right after the session. This is to prevent nausea and headaches in younger patients. 

Uses of Laughing Gas

Laughing gas is mainly used for the following reasons:

  • First, to reduce dental anxiety and dental phobia, it’s an excellent source of comfort for both the patient and the dentist.
  • It is used for dental operations like extractions, cleanings, treatments, whitenings, etc.
  • It offers a dentist the opportunity to examine teeth in depth without inconveniencing the patient.

Is Laughing Gas Safe?

Laughing gas has no harmful side effects. However, around 5% of the population may experience: 

  • Light nausea, 
  • Headaches, 
  • Sleepiness, 
  • Sweating or shivering,
  • Mild hallucinations,
  • Vomiting,
  • Light-headedness,
  • Giggling
  • Agitation, etc.

These effects are not the norm for most people. However, you should never inhale nitrous oxide without the recommendation and observation of a doctor. Prolonged gas abuse can cause anemia and a severe B12 deficiency in people.

If you are uncomfortable with the use of the gas, make sure to communicate your concerns with the dentist. 

Looking for painless dental procedures? We at East burn Dentistry and Implants offer effective sedation options including laughing gas by Dr. Daniel Lee and his team of dental experts. Call us at 503 2334871 or visit our website for more details. We are located at 1415 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214.

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