Our team at Black Mountain Family Dentistry understands that the sights, sounds and sensations at a dental office can be unsettling for some patients. One effective technique that we can use for your comfort is laughing gas, nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a common anesthetic used during many procedures.
Nitrous oxide is a gas made up of nitrogen and oxygen that has a slightly sweet odor and taste. During medical or dental procedures, nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen then inhaled through a mask that covers your nose. Soon after, you should feel relaxed and calm. You will be able to breathe on your own, move normally, and be conscious enough to hear and respond to our dentist’s questions. The effects of nitrous oxide disappear shortly after the mask is removed as the drug is quickly eliminated from your body via normal breathing.
Recreational drug use of nitrous oxide for its euphoric effects can be dangerous, however, nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen at dental offices in a fail-safe system. This ensures oxygen reaches the brain and prevents dangerous side effects or hypoxia. Nitrous oxide inhalation in a medical or dental office is a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety, produce analgesia, and enhance effective communication.
Nitrous oxide is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions. Though it is not addictive and non-allergenic, it can cause nausea and/or headaches in some people. We recognize that all patients are different and encourage you to talk with Dr. Kastenholz about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.