The term “laughing gas” is familiar to just about everyone. It’s the stuff that the dentist can give you via a mask as dental work is being completed. It’s well-known for its ability to calm and leave patients feeling a bit euphoric, which makes it an ideal component for any dental practice focused on keeping patients calm and anxiety-free during their treatment, and for the estimated 9 to 15 percent of adults who suffer from dental phobia, it can be a complete game-changer.
What is Laughing Gas?
Scientifically known as nitrous oxide, laughing gas is a fast-acting conscious sedation method. When administered in the correct dosages by a dentist, it can quickly lead to feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Patients often report feeling warm, tingly, and calm as the medicine takes effect. In turn, those who may otherwise be overwhelmed with anxiety or fear instead feel at ease as their dental procedures are completed.
How Does Laughing Gas Work?
Laughing gas, along with a mix of oxygen, is administered via a small mask that covers the nose. As the desired effects begin to quickly take place and leave patients at ease, any necessary local anesthetics can be given and the procedure can begin. Whether a patient’s anxiety is related to needles, drills, or the procedure in general, administering laughing gas first can eliminate them all.
After all dental work has been completed, the levels of nitrous oxide will be decreased to zero and the flow of oxygen increased. This will help diminish the side effects of laughing gas and leave patients feeling back to normal. However, there is a possibility that a patient may feel a slight “hangover” effect for a brief amount of time afterward.
Should You Have Laughing Gas at the Dentist?
Proper dental care is vital to keeping the teeth and gums healthy. This includes regular visits to the dentist and occasional dental work. However, fear of the dentist keeps many Americans from seeking the care they need, leading to long-term consequences in their oral health. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a safe and effective solution for many who experience dental fear and anxiety, making it possible for them to overcome their reservations.
In Baton Rouge, Dr. Aimee Russo-Mounger uses laughing gas along with a number of other techniques to help patients fully relax and enjoy a stress-free dental appointment. To learn more about our anxiety-free dentistry options, contact our office by clicking below.