Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is an odorless gas that, when inhaled, displaces oxygen in the lungs, resulting in a euphoric, pleasantly heavy, and calming physical and mental reaction. First used as a form of anesthesia in 1844, nitrous oxide is considered an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization and is used daily in dental offices across the country.
As a tool to manage anxiety and discomfort in dentistry, nitrous oxide has few equals. Incredibly fast to work, nitrous oxide will continue to provide a safe level of sedation as long as it is being administered. Once the mask is removed, the effects of laughing gas wear off quickly, allowing patients to function normally as soon as they leave our office.
Other forms of dental sedation, including conscious oral sedation, will require a ride home and may necessitate time spent resting as the medications wear off. Nitrous oxide wears off within minutes, enabling patients to drive, return to work, or resume any of the other normal activities the day demands.
Possible Nitrous Oxide Side Effects
According to the American Dental Association, “The combination of inhaled nitrous oxide and oxygen is a safe and effective means of managing pain and anxiety in dentistry, when used appropriately.” This means proper administration and monitoring are necessary when nitrous oxide is being used.
Our dentists are meticulous, attentive, and conservative in their delivery of nitrous oxide, working to provide the exact right amount without increasing risks for adverse reactions such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Shivering and sweating
Short-term side-effects like these can accompany an over-application of nitrous oxide. We take every care to guard against these risks, helping to ensure our patients enjoy the most comfortable and rewarding experience possible.
An allergic reaction to nitrous oxide is not impossible. If you experience fever, chills, wheezing, or difficulties breathing after receiving nitrous oxide, you should contact your physician immediately. While rare, an allergic reaction to laughing gas can be serious.
Considered safe for a majority of patients, even children, laughing gas may not be the best fit for everyone. We will evaluate your candidacy for this form of dental sedation as appropriate and discuss alternatives if there are concerns over your ability to safely handle laughing gas.
What’s Different About Our Approach
At Highpoint Dental Care, we offer free nitrous oxide to patients who may find the service beneficial. This is certainly true for nervous and anxious patients, but can also be a great solution for people with:
- An overactive gag reflex
- TMJ or Jaw sensitivity
- Sensitive teeth
Many physical and emotional discomforts can be dealt with through nitrous oxide. If you have avoided dental care due to fear of discomfort, give us a call at 303-617-9100 to schedule a consultation and learn if nitrous oxide is the best fit for you.
Dr. Rowe and Dr. Baltz are committed to providing an exceptional experience for each of our patients. We build life-long relationships on purpose, enabling us to truly meet your needs each time you come to our office. “We treat you like family” is not just a tagline for us. We provide everyone who enters our office the same level of respect, attention, and care that we do our own families, and strive to ensure our patients are recognizable through the beauty and health of their smiles.
Located in Aurora, Highpoint Dental Care is a comprehensive general, cosmetic, and family dentistry practice serving all Metro Denver communities, including Commerce City, Englewood, Littleton, and Centennial. Call 303-617-9100 to learn about our services, including free nitrous oxide, and let us help you achieve a strong and attractive smile for life.