Nitrous gas is also commonly known as the laughing gas. It is named such as it makes you feel comfortable and at ease and even laugh at the slightest of things. This won’t make you unconscious but according to some people, they experience some tingling and heaviness in their arms and legs. During certain dental procedures, the dentist might place a mask over your nose so that you breathe in this gas and feel comfortable during the procedure.
You will be able to feel everything that is happening to you but you will not feel anxious. The dentist might ask you a few questions and you will be able to answer them evenly and without any discomfort. After the mask is removed, the effects of the gas wear off.
It is a colorless and a sweet smelling gas and the combination of inhaling nitrous oxide with oxygen is harmless and helps in situations of pain and anxiety that is relative to dental procedures. Your dentist might ask how you would feel about nitrous oxide during the procedure.
It is also known as a conscious sedative as throughout the time of the treatment, the patient is awake but not feeling any pain or anxiety. Patients experience anxiety in the dental offices and this is a common experience. Therefore, this is a good alternative. Other sedatives might have some unreliable side effects. However, the effects of nitrous oxide are predictable and relatively well known.
- Do not wear contact lens during the procedure as the gas leaked might cause the drying of eyes.
- The patients are recommended to avoid consuming heavy meals prior to the procedure.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH) states that with proper ventilation and system maintenance, the nitrous oxide concentration can be reduced to 25 ppm during the analgesia administration. Following proper work ethics and following the instructions and recommendations of the Council on Scientific Affairs, the dental offices will be able to safely administer the nitrous oxide and oxygen gas combination.