Nitrous oxide is a gas used for dental treatments. It is commonly known as happy or laughing gas and is given through a nosepiece to children or adults during their dental treatments to feel more relaxed and at ease. Patient is awake for the whole procedure but is less anxious and feels less pain. Once the dental treatment is over, the effects of the laughing gas quickly dissipate while the patient receives pure Oxygen.
What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a slight sweet odor. Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a slightly sweet odor. It has been used in medicine for sedation purposes for about a century and is safe and practical for administering conscious sedation. Conscious sedation means that a child (or adult) will stay awake during the procedure but feel entirely calm — even happy. In this condition, all biological functions remain regular, but the child is mentally relaxed. The effect of nitrous oxide sedation wears off automatically as soon as its administration is stopped after the procedure.
What Does Laughing Gas Do?
For conscious sedation Nitrous oxide, generally known as laughing gas, is used for dental treatments as a mild sedative to minimize pain and anxiety. Nitrous oxide, being a colorless and odorless gas, is mixed with oxygen to be inhaled via a small mask just enough to fit the nose. During the treatment, patients are instructed to breathe as they usually would. They would be able to feel the effects after a few minutes.
Despite being called a “laughing” gas, nitrous oxide does not make you laugh. This gas simply slows down your nervous system, making you feel less guarded and tense. Some effects on your body include light-headedness, feeling tingly, and possibly some heaviness in your arms and legs may occur. You might have felt at ease and relaxed throughout the procedure, and you might even let out a few giggles.
Who are Candidates for Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide has a unique quality that it Patients who are having general dental procedures such as cleanings and diagnostics should ask their dentist if nitrous oxide sedation is an option. Additionally, patients who have porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, surgeries or root canal treatment may require nitrous oxide sedation, some patients might even inquire about sedation with N2O for their cleaning appointments.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide can make patients relaxed and comfortable throughout their dental treatment, especially if they feel anxious in a dental chair.
No Use of Needles
The administration of nitrous oxide does not require needles, unlike IV-sedation methods for dental treatments.
Little Recovery Time
The patient can recover from the nitrous oxide’s effects immediately after they stop inhaling it. Nitrous oxide sedation is one of the few where patients can safely go home without assistance after their treatment.
Leaves the Body Very Rapidly
The laughing gas wears off quickly, meaning it also leaves the body’s system just as fast. The patient’s body can be completely free from nitrous oxide after 5 minutes of cutting its source and receiving pure oxygen. Thus, this enables the patient to go back home safely without the need for assistance.
Despite the patient being awake and conscious of the procedure, they are completely relaxed and at ease to still communicate with their dentist or other people.
Nitrous oxide’s effects can be felt instantaneously, with only a few minutes for it to take effect completely.
Nitrous oxide can decrease and remove the patient’s gag reflex during the procedure, making the patient more relaxed during the dental treatment.
Why Choose Burnaby Square Dental
You Will Always Receive a Personalized Experience
Here at Burnaby Square Dental, we aim to give you a dental experience unlike any other. We ensure this by having all patients feel at home and comfortable, whether they are here for a regular visit or an advanced treatment. You can always expect to be given full attention with our committed team of professionals always at your service.
Easy Access to Dental Care and Information
Your time is important to us, which is why we tackle this by offering extended office hours until the evening and on Saturdays. We also happily give you a reminder for your dental appointments.
For patients with concerns or who wish to make appointments, call us at (604) 526 2725 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment and we promise to respond immediately in order to accommodate you well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Being under nitrous oxide sedation may make you feel calmer, drowsy, and slightly experience minor amnesia and tingling sensations, with the extent of the effect depending on the dosage. The effects of the gas will ultimately take effect within 2-3 minutes, making you feel completely relaxed, at ease, and free from pain.
While the laughing gas can relieve or remove the sensation of pain, this sedation is not meant to be used as a primary anesthetic. Suppose you will have an extensive procedure that may be very painful. In that case, your dentist will make sure to administer a local anesthetic to prevent you from feeling pain.
Conscious sedation may feel slightly different for each individual, but patients generally feel drowsy and relaxed. Every negative emotion, stress, tension, or anxiety is relieved once the sedative has taken place in your system. You can also experience tingling sensations throughout your body, especially in your arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Yes. After nitrous oxide intake, you can safely drive home without assistance, unlike with other forms or types of sedation. That is because the effects of nitrous oxide can be controlled, including the dosage and how long it will take effect.
The inhalation of nitrous oxide causes the oxygen in your lungs to be replaced in portions , thus temporarily preventing full oxygen from entering your blood and brain. The lack of oxygen is what makes you giggly and possibly experience mild hallucinations. After you stop inhaling the laughing gas, its effects will completely wear off after roughly 2 minutes.for safety , patients will be kept under pure Oxygen for at least 5 minutes.
Yes, since nitrous oxide and its effects wear off almost instantaneously. After removing the mask and finishing the procedure, your child can go back to their classes.
No, laughing gas allows you to stay conscious but relaxed for the procedure, unlike general anesthesia. This sedation form simply makes you feel lightheaded and tingly across your body—however, only enough to allow you to still communicate with your dentist.
Nitrous oxide is administered via a small plastic breathing nose mask. You will be asked to breathe as you usually would inhale the mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen.
It depends on each patient. While some may experience mild amnesia or feel that time passed by too quickly, some may not remember anything at all during the time they were sedated.
There are no side effects on your lungs or heart, so long as you inhale the gas properly through your nose. This matter is best discussed with your dentist and healthcare provider before administering nitrous oxide for your treatment.