Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a sedative agent inhaled during dental procedures to help reduce anxiety. The gas is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask over your nose to help you relax. You will feel calm and relaxed but conscious enough to respond to the dentist’s requests during the procedure. When the procedure is over, the mask is removed, and the effects of the gas wear off almost immediately. You may feel slightly dizzy following the process, but this typically wears off within a few hours. To learn more about nitrous oxide and how it works, schedule a consultation at Valenta Dental.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Nitrous oxide is administered through a mask that covers the nose. The gas is mixed with oxygen to ensure safe and controlled delivery. The mask allows the patient to breathe in the nitrous oxide-oxygen mixture. As the patient breathes in the gas, it is absorbed through the lungs and enters the bloodstream. Nitrous oxide then quickly reaches the brain and exerts its effects.
Nitrous oxide acts as a central nervous system depressant. It binds to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, affecting the transmission of nerve signals. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving substances and produces a feeling of relaxation and euphoria.
Nitrous oxide induces a state of conscious sedation, meaning the patient remains awake and responsive but feels more relaxed and less anxious. It can help reduce fear, anxiety, and discomfort associated with dental procedures. Nitrous oxide also has mild analgesic properties, relieving pain during treatment.
The Benefits of Using Nitrous Oxide
This treatment's combination of calm and happy feelings can help anxious patients feel much more comfortable and relaxed during dental treatments. This can also reduce the need for anti-anxiety medications for those patients who use them regularly.
Improved Dental Health
In addition to easing the pain and discomfort of going to the dentist, nitrous oxide can also help improve dental health by reducing stress, which can prevent excessive tooth grinding and clenching. It can also eliminate the gag reflex that makes some procedures challenging. Many people also find they can keep their teeth cleaner and free from plaque and other oral health problems when relaxed and stress-free during dental appointments.
Speedier Healing Time
The calming effects of this gas also make it an excellent option for patients who need to heal quickly after oral surgery. It can help them heal faster without as much pain while relieving the stress and anxiety that often accompanies oral surgeries.
Nitrous oxide is considered a safe and effective option for managing anxiety and discomfort in dental settings, particularly for patients with dental phobia or requiring minor to moderate dental procedures. For the best dental care, visit Valenta Dental at 1838 Dunlap Ave, Marinette, WI 54143, or call (715) 735-5626.