Sedation Dentistry in Crown Point: How Does Laughing Gas Work?

Sedation Dentistry

Most dental visits are pretty basic – a dental hygienist will remove plaque from your teeth, followed by a polishing to remove any stains. After that, some flossing, a look under the tongue, and your dentist gives your teeth a healthy thumbs-up. But not every visit goes so smoothly – some procedures require sedation dentistry in Crown Point.

What Is the Laughing Gas Method of Sedation Dentistry in Crown Point?

You’ve certainly heard of laughing gas, but what does it do? Nitrous oxide, more commonly referred to as laughing gas, is used as a local sedation method, according to the California Dental Association (CDA). It is colorless and odorless and is effective as a sedative because it relaxes patients with the pleasurable feelings it produces.

Nitrous oxide’s usefulness also stems from how quickly it works and the fact that its effects are reversible. For those and other reasons, it is widely considered to be a safe sedation method.

Laughing gas is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide.

You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

Once the nitrous oxide has been turned off, a patient needs to receive oxygen for at least five minutes to avoid getting a headache. The oxygen eliminates any remaining gas from the lungs while helping the patient to become alert and awake.

Meals are another important consideration when receiving nitrous oxide. It’s a good idea to eat lightly before your procedure and avoid a large meal for three hours following the treatment. Also, consult your dentist as to when it is safe for you to drive following treatment.

Possible (Rare) Side Effects of the Laughing Gas Method of Sedation Dentistry in Crown Point

The CDA reports that only a small number of patients experience any negative side effects. They can occur if the nitrous level is too high or if the amount being inhaled quickly changes. Potential side effects are as follows:

  • Headaches;
  • Shivering;
  • Excessive sweating;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting;
  • Fatigue.

Nitrous Oxide For Children

Not only is nitrous oxide safe for children – laughing gas is a preferred method of sedation dentistry in Crown Point for children who are nervous or anxious about an upcoming procedure. Discuss this with your child’s dentist ahead of time to determine the appropriate sedation method.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry notes that while it’s an effective sedative that’s easy to administer, nitrous oxide might not be the right choice for everyone. Some children may suffer from nausea or have difficulty wearing the mask needed to breathe it in.

Chances are, at some point, you’ll undergo a procedure that requires sedation dentistry in Crown Point. To avoid this, forming healthy dental habits is key. One of those habits is regular visits to the dentist. When was your last appointment? If it’s been more than six months, call our office today to schedule your next visit.