What Are the Side Effects of Laughing Gas?

Inhalation Sedation at Clinic

Are you apprehensive about an upcoming dental procedure? If so, talk to your trusted team at Santa Teresa Dental about the benefits of nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. This sedation dentistry option safely and effectively alleviates anxiety associated with receiving your needed dental care. We are all about ensuring your time with us is comfortable and free of stress. 

What Is Laughing Gas?

Laughing gas is a type of light inhaled sedation using a controlled nitrous oxide and oxygen mix. It has no color or smell and does not cause any irritation. Nitrous oxide helps relax patients by eliminating pain and inducing a pleasurable sensation. After approximately five minutes of breathing in the gas, patients typically experience a euphoric feeling spread throughout the body. You may get “the giggles,” hence the name “laughing gas.” 

When Is Laughing Gas Indicated?

We recommend laughing gas for nervous patients and those with traumatic dental experiences, along with those with complex dental problems or a bad gag reflex. It is also the preferred sedation method for children, especially if they are anxious or nervous during dental visits, undergoing lengthy or complex procedures, or too young to sit still for extended periods. 

What Should You Expect?

We will administer the laughing gas through a mask placed on your face and ask you to breathe through your nose. You should start feeling the calming effects of the gas within a few minutes. You will stay awake and will be able to hear us and respond to any requests but will feel comfortable and relaxed. The effects of laughing gas will completely wear off soon after removing your mask, allowing you to drive home after your procedure.

What Are the Advantages of Laughing Gas?

Nitrous oxide works very quickly. It reaches the brain within 20 seconds of administration, with its pain-killing and relaxing effects developing within two to three minutes. We can give incremental doses until reaching the desired sedation and alter the depth of sedation from moment to moment, depending on your needs. 

Laughing gas is very safe. It has not been shown to cause allergic reactions and has no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. Best of all, there’s no “hangover” effect because the gas is eliminated from the body soon after removing your mask. 

What Are the Side Effects of Laughing Gas?

In most cases, there are no lingering side effects of laughing gas. While breathing in the sedative, you may feel light-headed or that your arms and legs are tingling or heavy. These are normal reactions to the nitrous oxide and resolve almost immediately after removing the breathing mask. 

In some rare cases, patients experience hallucinations and vertigo. That is due to an incorrect balance between the nitrous oxide and oxygen or due to over-sedation. With modern dental technology, it is virtually impossible to get the balance wrong or to oversedate. The worst thing that can happen is that you may not respond to nitrous oxide sedation, but again, that is very rare.

Sedation Dentistry in Morgan Hill, CA

Visit Santa Teresa Dental to learn more about nitrous oxide sedation and how it can help you relax through your dental procedures. Our outstanding team is committed to delivering exceptional care and service in a calm and comfortable environment. You don’t need to put off any needed dental procedures! Call us and schedule your appointment today!