For many years, dentists have use laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, to keep patients calm and comfortable during procedures. But what is it about this sedative that makes it so perfect for use in dentistry? Why, when given the option, should you strongly consider using laughing gas rather than an IV sedative or oral sedative? Here's why:
Laughing gas kicks in quickly and wears off quickly.
Most patients try to fit dental appointments into their busy days. It's hard to find someone to drive you to and from your appointment. With both IV sedation and oral sedatives, you'll need to find someone to drive you home. IV sedatives take a while to wear off, and oral sedatives need to be taken a while before your appointment, so they'll probably kick in before you arrive at the dentist's office. Laughing gas, however, kicks in after you inhale just a few breaths of it. After the procedure is over and you stop inhaling it, the gas wears off pretty quickly. You should be able to just sit in the dentist's office for a few minutes, and then drive yourself home afterwards. This surely is more convenient than finding a driver.
Laughing gas causes few side effects.
Some people don't tolerate IV sedatives or oral sedatives well. But once the drug is in your system, you have to wait for your body to clear it out, so you'll have to deal with the headaches, nausea or other unwanted side effects for at least a few hours. Most patients don't experience any unwanted side effects from laughing gas, and if it does start to make you feel a little nauseous, your dentist can just turn down the flow of the gas and you'll likely feel better within a few minutes.
Laughing gas is easy and painless to administer.
Nobody really likes the idea of having an IV put into their arm. Laughing gas is inhaled through a little mask that just sits over your nose. All you have to do is breathe normally through your nose. It's painless and comfortable. If the mask starts itching, you can itch under it with no worries. There's no hangover effect from the gas, either, so you won't feel sick or uncomfortable later on as you might with IV or oral sedatives.
To learn more about laughing gas and why it's such a good choice for dental procedures, talk to your dentist. Learn more here.