Laughing gas is an excellent choice if you’d like to be sedated during your appointment at Southington Dentistry. With laughing gas sedation, Dr. Salesky can make sure that you feel safe and comfortable when you get a filling, have a tooth extracted, or even get a routine teeth cleaning. Got questions about laughing gas? In this blog, we’ll discuss the top 4 things you should know about how it works and what to expect if you’re sedated with laughing gas at our office in Southington, Plantsville and Wolcott.
Laughing gas is a common term for nitrous oxide. In some cases, laughing gas sedation may also be called “inhaled sedation” or “minimal inhaled sedation.” These are all the same thing. Nitrous oxide works by blocking certain receptors in the brain, preventing feelings of anxiety. It also causes the brain to release an endorphin called “norepinephrine”, which inhibits pain signaling and stimulates the brain pathways responsible for dopamine release. In more simple terms, this means that when you start to breathe in nitrous oxide, you’ll feel much less anxious, you won’t feel as much pain, and you will feel happy and euphoric. Combined, these effects make it ideal for dental sedation.
You don’t need to take any special steps to prepare for sedation, although we recommend that you avoid eating for an hour or two before your appointment, as this makes it less likely that you’ll experience nausea or vomiting after your treatment. Dr. Salesky will simply place a comfortable mask on your nose, and you’ll breathe in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. As soon as the nitrous oxide reaches your lungs, it will be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Beyond the anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, and euphoric benefits mentioned above, nitrous oxide can also help with fear of needles, which can be troublesome if you need to have your mouth numbed for a dental procedure. It even helps impair your gag reflex, which is also very useful if you need to have a rear tooth treated but have a very strong gag reflex. Nitrous oxide will reduce this reflex and keep you more comfortable.
When your treatment is over, Dr. Salesky will adjust your mask to send a stream of 100% pure oxygen into your lungs. You’ll keep breathing in for a few minutes, then take the mask off. This helps flush out nitrous oxide from your system, and helps minimize any side effects. Nitrous oxide will usually be completely eliminated from your body within 5-10 minutes after your appointment. You may feel a bit nauseated, dizzy, or confused, but you’ll feel totally normal after a little while, and your motor skills and decision-making won’t be impaired, so you can even drive yourself home or go back to work.
At Southington Dentistry, we offer caring, gentle dentistry in a judgment-free zone. Whether you have severe dental anxiety or you’re feeling nervous before a procedure like a tooth extraction or crown preparation, we’re here to help with sedation dentistry in Southington, Plantsville, and Wolcott. We offer laughing gas for just about every treatment at our office, so if you’d like more information and want to get started, just call us at (860) 628-5029 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.