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Does Laughing Gas Have Any Side Effects?

December 13, 2021

If you are anxious about your next dental appointment, then we have some good news for you. You may be eligible for nitrous oxide sedation, pain-free and needle-free treatment for patients who want to feel more relaxed while in the dentist's chair. 

If you've never used nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” before, you may have a lot of questions about this sedation option and its side effects. 

Here's what you need to know. 

What Is Laughing Gas Exactly? 

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” is a mild sedative that, when inhaled, slows down the body's reaction time, helping you ease your anxiety and feel more relaxed or even euphoric while in the dentist's chair. 

The dentist will place a mask over your nose and ask you to breathe in slowly. You will feel the effects of the gas within a few minutes and the doctor can start the treatment. Since it's a mild sedative, you will be fully awake during the treatment and able to respond to the dentist's commands and questions. 

What Effects Does It Have on Your Body? 

Despite its name, laughing gas won't make you giggle uncontrollably throughout the dental procedure. However, it will make you feel relaxed, euphoric, and a bit light-headed. You will also feel a tingly sensation in your arms and legs, and some people experience mild hallucinations while under the effects of nitrous oxide. 

Once the treatment is over, the dentist will remove the mask from your nose and the effects of the laughing gas will wear off in a few minutes. 

Are There Any Side Effects? 

Nitrous oxide is safe to use when administered by a trained professional. While some people are perfectly fine after using the sedative, some may experience mild side effects such as: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Headaches 
  • Nausea 
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive sweating 

Because of these side effects, it's recommended that someone drive you home after the procedure until you regain full alertness in your body. The dentist may also administer oxygen for a few minutes after they turn the gas off to help clear the nitrous oxide from your body. This can also help prevent headaches, one of the most common side effects of nitrous oxide. 

Pain-Free Dental Treatment from Southington Dentistry 

If you've been postponing your dental appointment because you fear the procedures might be too painful, Southington Dentistry offers oral conscious sedation to help you relax and get the treatment you need. 

We will first examine and make sure we understand your medical history to make sure that you are a good candidate for sedation. Based on our initial assessment, we will decide together the best treatment for your needs. Dr. Salesky will also explain to you how sedation works, how safe it is and give you all the information you need to make an educated decision. 
Contact us now to schedule your appointment.

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