Dental Laughing Gas | Nottingham Dental

Laughing Gas, also known as Nitrous Oxide (N2O), is a type of sedation dentistry that makes you feel extremely calm. Please continue reading for a discussion of laughing gas at Nottingham Dental.

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A lot of people have an immense phobia of going to the dentist’s office. In fact, this fear of dental procedures is so well documented that it even has a name — dentophobia. Most children hate going to the dentist’s office because of the uncomfortable procedures, clinical aesthetic, and terrifying tools. Even adults hate the prospect of going for dental treatments.

But that’s precisely where sedation dentistry and laughing gas come in. Laughing Gas, or Nitrous Oxide (N2O), is one of the most effective ways for dentists to combat your anxiety and fear of dental procedures. This is a gas that you can inhale through your nose via a mask. It’s completely harmless and odorless and it’s used with pure oxygen to help you relax and calm down during your dental treatments. Dentists can also modify the level of laughing gas they used for different patients.

What sets this apart from other forms of sedation dentistry is that it’s extremely mild and doesn’t induce any memory loss. You remember the entire procedure and are completely conscious for all of it. Once the mask is removed, you recover almost immediately with no lasting effects. This allows you to return home with a successful dental appointment under your wing.

Since this is a mild sedative that induces a feeling of deep calm and restfulness — without causing short-term memory loss or haziness — you start associating your dental appointments with that sensation of peace rather than anxiety. As such, not only does laughing gas help you sit through your dental procedure calmly, but it also helps you overcome any anxieties you may have about dental appointments in general.

At Nottingham Dental, we provide a wide range of sedation dentistry services depending on the procedure, including laughing gas. Please continue reading for a detailed discussion of laughing gas and sedation dentistry.

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What is Laughing Gas?

According to the California Dental Association (CDA), laughing gas (chemically known as Nitrous Oxide N2O) is a local sedative technique. This is a colorless and odorless gas that helps the patient calm down and it induces a pleasure response. It’s an extremely effective sedation dentistry method because it works immediately and it’s completely reversible — the effects wear off as soon as the mask is taken off your mouth. As such, Laughing Gas is deemed to be one of the most effective and safest sedation techniques for minimally invasive dental procedures. It’s largely used by dentists and dental hygienists during routine dental deep cleaning appointments.

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Side Effects of Laughing Gas

Laughing Gas is one of the safest sedation methods out there with a negligible risk of side effects. However, if the dentist administers a high level of laughing gas or if the gas is inhaled too quickly, you may suffer from the following potential side effects:

  • Headaches.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Exhaustion and fatigue.
  • Nausea.
  • Shivering.

The risk of these side effects is extremely low and they’re temporary. As such, even if you do experience these side effects, they won’t last long and you have nothing to worry about. Once the laughing gas is turned off, the dentist will administer pure oxygen for at least five minutes so you don’t suffer from any of the side effects. The oxygen will help remove all traces of the gas from your system and it will also help you recover and regain normal cognitive functioning.

It’s also important to note that a heavy meal before the procedure can increase your risk of side effects. That’s why you should eat lightly before going under. You should also avoid eating for at least three hours after the procedure. You should generally follow all of your dentist’s instructions and you’ll successfully avoid the side effects of laughing gas.

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Am I Suitable for Laughing Gas Sedation Dentistry?

Laughing Gas is one of the simplest and most effective forms of sedation dentistry, but it may not be right for you in a few specific situations. If you identify with any of the following conditions, you should inform your dentist before the procedure:

  • If you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy).
  • If you suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
  • If you have a methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency.
  • If you have a cobalamin deficiency.
  • If you have a history of drug addiction or substance abuse.
  • If you’re currently following a treatment that involves bleomycin sulfate.

Is Laughing Gas Safe for Children?

Laughing Gas isn’t just safe for children, but it’s one of the best form of sedation dentistry for children who are anxious or afraid of dental procedures. You can talk to your child’s dentist about the possible sedation options and they’ll recommend the one that’s most suitable for your child and their upcoming procedure. Some children may suffer from light nausea after the sedation, but that’s perfectly normal.

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At Nottingham Dental, we offer a wide range of sedation dentistry options for different types of dental procedures. Laughing gas is one of our most favored and commonly-used sedation methods. However, we do examine you thoroughly and discuss your medical history so we can avoid the side effects of laughing gas and use the correct sedation method. We believe your dental appointments should induce joy and happiness rather than fear or anxiety, which is why we’ve also designed our clinic aesthetically to enhance a sense of peace and comfort. For more information, please schedule an appointment today.