What Exactly is Nitrous Sedation?
A colorless, non-flammable gas, nitrogen oxide is commonly referred to as “laughing gas” or “happy gas.” Gases of this type are widely used as well as sedatives during medical or dental procedures in Casper. Nitrous sedation eases anxiety and allows patients to relax. Nitrous is not general anesthesia, nor is it IV sedation. It is a gas that is breathed in through a nosepiece, always mixed with pure oxygen.
How Is Nitrous Sedation Used?
The nitrous sedation unit has a fail-safe so that at no time are you breathing in only nitrous oxide, you will always breath in some room air. More importantly, it is designed so that it can only provide a maximum of 70% nitrous with the remaining being pure oxygen.
Nitrous sedation is not designed to put you to sleep, but to help you relax. Often patients under nitrous sedation will fall asleep once their worries have been sedated.
We will take some time to explain how nitrous works and show you the equipment before we begin to use it. A small rubber nosepiece is placed over the nose, leaving the mouth free. Small percentages of nitrous are introduced incrementally from 0% to 5%, then 10% and up to 55%-65%. This is done slowly over a period of 10 to 15 minutes. Once your dental procedure is finished, the amount of nitrous is likewise reduced slowly back to 0% and the patient is allowed to breathe our oxygen until they feel like themselves again.
Nitrous oxide is generally not associated with any adverse side effects; however, some people may experience a few. Side effects may be related to too much nitrous oxide in the gas mixture or from too high a nitrous oxide concentration.
Among the possible side effects are:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased drowsiness
- Excessive sweating or shivering
You may experience headaches if you aren’t administered oxygen for at least five minutes after the nitrous oxide has been turned off. Any remaining gas in the lungs is flushed with oxygen, restoring you to a fully awake and alert state. During nitrous oxide treatment, you should tell the dentist if you feel uncomfortable.
To reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting following nitrous oxide treatment, we recommend that you consume only light meals before your dental appointment. During the three hours following the procedure, they may advise you to refrain from eating heavy meals. Some studies suggest that motor skills and attention may be compromised for 15 minutes after inhaling nitrous oxide, so if you receive nitrous oxide, speak with your dentist regarding driving safety.
How Long Does Nitrous Oxide Last?
The sedative effects of nitrogen oxide become apparent within minutes of inhalation, and they subside within minutes after it’s ceased. Sedation can begin as quickly as 30 seconds or as long as three or four minutes after inhalation. About a third of patients also experience numbness in their cheeks and gums. These effects go away shortly after treatment.
Nonetheless, nitrous oxide is less intrusive than other forms of sedation because it doesn’t put you to sleep. You may prefer laughing gas to traditional anesthesia because of the minimal recovery time.
Nitrous sedation is a helpful way to ease discomfort and anxiety during a dental procedure. Dentists who offer laughing gas can advise if it’s the proper sedation technique for your unique circumstances.
Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Right for me?
If you experience dental fear or anxiety, sedation with Nitrous Oxide may be a good solution for you. Schedule a consultation with our team today to learn more about the sedation process.