Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Dental Procedures

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Dental Procedures

May 01, 2022

Dental procedures can sometimes take a long time. Other times they can be too stressful for the patient. The dentist needs to make sure that the patient is calm during the entire time to complete the procedure on time and properly. One of the best ways to do this is through sedation. Various kinds of sedatives that can be used for this purpose, one of which is nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide in dentistry is used as an anesthetic to make the patient calm, less anxious, and less sensitive to pain during the procedure. For the most part, nitrous oxide is safe for dental procedures. However, if you have any allergies, you should let your dentist know beforehand.

What Does Nitrous Oxide Do?

Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas. It is a mild sedative that effectively manages pain and anxiety during dental treatment. Nitrous oxide is an odorless and colorless gas that slows down the nervous system so that you don’t feel pain when inhaled. It is normal to feel light-headed in the beginning, but in the end, you will be completely calm and comfortable during the entire procedure. You might even giggle a couple of times during the procedure; hence the name “laughing gas.”

Explain How The Dentists use nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is known to have a sweet taste and smell. When the patient inhales the gas, it temporarily decreases the person’s ability to feel nearly all sensations. It can take away emotional and physical pain, hearing, and touch sensation. Taking away all of these sensations means that the individual becomes highly relaxed.

Dentists have both oxygen and nitrous oxide tanks at their disposal. When the procedure begins, the dentist will first use a mask to give pure oxygen to the patient. After that, nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen. Once the individual breathes the right amount of nitrous oxide, the effects can be seen. It can take as little as 20 seconds and as much as five minutes for the nitrous oxide gas to reach the brain. When the gas reaches the brain, the patient enters a relaxed state.

Even though the patient is relaxed, they can still interact and cooperate with the dentist. So, if the patient starts to experience side effects of the gas, they can alert the dentist, and they will adjust the gas levels.

Explain Who Cannot Use Nitrous Oxide

Some people should not be given nitrous oxide as it can have dangerous side effects. First and foremost, any pregnant patient is not eligible for nitrous oxide as it can be dangerous for the mother and the baby. If the patient takes a psychiatric medication, they must speak to their psychiatrist before opting for nitrous oxide in Dixon, IL. Mind-altering chemicals such as nitrous oxide can lead to a relapse.

If the patient suffers from any pulmonary disease, they need to get their doctor’s consent before inhaling nitrous oxide. It is also important that the patient tell the dentist about any allergies they have so that the nitrous oxide doesn’t trigger any of them. Lastly, if the patient has had surgeries in the ears or eyes, they are also not eligible.

Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide in dentistry is pretty safe, and most people don’t experience any adverse reactions to it. However, patients can sometimes have some side effects, and this can happen if the nitrous oxide levels are too high or the inhaled amount quickly varies. Some of the main side effects of nitrous oxide are headaches, sleepiness, vomiting, excessive sweating, shivering, and nausea.

Once the nitrous oxide is turned off, patients need to breathe oxygen for at least five minutes to avoid any headaches. Oxygen is used the expel the remaining gas from the lungs reducing the risk of getting side effects.

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