Laughing Gas At the Dentist: What to Expect
If you're feeling particularly anxious about your upcoming dental procedure, you could consider Sedation Dentistry, like laughing gas! This mild sedative can help you relax and overcome your anxiety so that you receive the treatment you need.
But, how does it work exactly? Here's what to expect when receiving laughing gas at the dentist.
What Is Laughing Gas and How Does It Work?
Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is a mild sedative that will give you a state of euphoria, helping you feel calm enough to override your dental anxiety. Although it could make some patients giggle, you won't start laughing uncontrollably or become too chatty because of it. It will just give you a deep sense of relaxation.
Laughing gas works by affecting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, and reducing the perception of pain.
Unlike other sedatives, laughing gas is eliminated through the lungs, which means its effects wear off quite quickly once administration is stopped.
Nitrous oxide is a safe sedative and it's often used in pediatric dentistry. That's because its effects are mild, it leaves the body immediately, and has little to no side effects.
What to Expect When Receiving Laughing Gas at the Dentist
First of all, you should know that laughing gas is a type of conscious sedation. This means you'll be relaxed, but awake and able to respond to the dentist's instructions during the procedure.
The dentist will place a small mask over your nose and you will start inhaling a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen.
As you breathe the gas in, you might start to feel a bit light-headed. You may also experience a warm, tingling sensation in your arms and legs, or you may feel a bit heavy in your limbs.
Although most patients remain awake, some of them become so relaxed that they doze off a bit.
Once the treatment is done and the mask is removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide will start to wear off. It only takes a few minutes for the effects to disappear completely. You might experience minor nausea as the effects wear off, but this is usually uncommon. In fact, laughing gas is so mild that most patients are able to drive themselves home after treatment.
Are You Considering Dental Sedation? Let's Talk!
If you have dental anxiety, you are not alone. But, your fear shouldn't prevent you from receiving treatment, especially when sedation is an option.
At Landman Dentistry by the Lake, PLLC, we offer various sedation options, including laughing gas. Dr. L can help you figure out which sedation option works best for you and make sure you have a positive experience.
Send us a message online or call us at (845) 628-3200 to ask more questions about our sedation options. We are more than happy to give you all the information you need and schedule your appointment with Dr. L.