Maryville and Knoxville, TN
Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is used for its calming effect. It’s a colorless, almost odorless gas that is combined with oxygen, then administered to you through a small mask that covers your nose. It can help to relax you, ease your fear and make you feel more comfortable during your dental treatment.
Nitrous oxide also helps increase your tolerance for lengthy dental procedures, and while it doesn’t make any part of your mouth numb, it can decrease your perception of discomfort. There are a few situations where we can’t use nitrous oxide, such as if you are pregnant or have an inner ear infection.
The more deeply you breathe through your nose, the more you’ll feel the effects of nitrous. We can also adjust the levels to make you more comfortable. Your normal reflexes will all be intact, and you will be able to communicate with us during your treatment. Nitrous oxide is not a replacement for a local anesthetic; the area in your mouth that will be affected by the treatment will still need to be numbed.
Nitrous Oxide for Children
Nausea is an occasional side effect of nitrous oxide in children. If you anticipate that your child will need nitrous oxide, please ensure that they have little or no food prior to treatment. Be sure to tell us if your child: is prone to motion sickness, has a respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult, is taking medication.
The Effects of Nitrous Oxide
Within just a few minutes, you will notice its effects.
- Mild tingling in your hands and feet.
- Warm sensations throughout your body.
- The feeling of drifting or floating.
- A disconnection from what is going on around you.
- A dreamlike state.
When we turn the nitrous off, and you are receiving pure oxygen through your mask, the effects of the nitrous will quickly subside. You can safely drive after your dental appointment.