Nitrous oxide, popularly known as “laughing gas,” was discovered in the late 18th century and while the discoverer, Joseph Priestly, had hoped for his discovery to be used in medical applications, it was primarily used by wealthy young people as a form of entertainment. However, by the mid-19th century, nitrous oxide was used in conjunction with oral surgery and thus, dental sedation was born. Nitrous oxide is still used in dental office today to help patients relax but deciding whether or not dental sedation is right for you requires some research.
Do You Need Help Relaxing at the Dentist’s Office?
Many people have feelings or fear or anxiety associated with dental visits and your dentist is well aware of this fact. That’s why he likely offers nitrous oxide (sometimes called inhalation sedation) as an adjunct to nearly all procedures. You can even opt for nitrous oxide during a routine checkup and cleaning. However, if you experience panic attacks, strong feelings of unease, and anxiety during dental appointments, you may need to opt for oral sedation, which provides a deeper level of relaxation.
What Does Nitrous Oxide Feel Like?
A dental assistant certified in nitrous oxide will administer it by placing a soft mask over your nose. The nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen. As you breathe in, you will begin to notice a pleasantly lightheaded feeling. While every person’s experience is different, many patients report feeling giddy, euphoric, warm, and detached from any sense of worry.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?
Yes, nitrous oxide is safe more nearly all patients, including children. While you are under nitrous oxide, the dentist’s assisting staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing to further ensure your safety. The effects of nitrous oxide will wear off a few minutes after the mask is removed and you will be able to return to your normal activities, including driving, soon after the appointment.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE, TX DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.