Nitrous Oxide “Laughing Gas”
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.
There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- You are able to drive following this form of sedation.
- It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide
You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you are pregnant, or have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, a cold or other difficulties with breathing.
Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting the dentist? You may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Jackson is Certified to administer oral conscious sedation.
Advantages to patients include:
- Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
- You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
- Multiple procedures may be completed during the same visit.
The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety are Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.
Please note that you are not allowed to travel on your own after you’ve taken any of these drugs. Please make sure you have an escort to drive you to and from your appointment.
When not to take oral sedation:
Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’s important to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist. You should be sure to inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking other medications. There could be possible drug interactions.