If you are afraid of going to the dentist then you have probably considered different options to help you relax and cope better during your appointments. Being actually put to sleep, known as deep sedation, can be very expensive and requires a lot of preparation which may not be suitable for most. But you are also too afraid to go through your visit while being fully awake. So using nitrous oxide gas, also referred to as laughing gas, to help you relax and calm down a bit may sound like the perfect compromise between these two options. But does nitrous oxide gas really work? Or are you better off either without it or by being put to actual sleep?
Pros of Using Nitrous Oxide Gas
1. Nitrous oxide is very safe and its effects are easily reversible. The reason using nitrous oxide gas is so popular with dentists is because it is very safe, works very quickly and wears off just as quickly.
- Nitrous oxide is extremely safe and it literally has no risks. In fact it is even safer than the injections you are about to get to numb you up, as even the local anesthetic is riskier.
- Nitrous oxide gas works very quickly and starts to relax you within just a few minutes of inhaling it.
- Similarly, its effect wear off and vanish just minutes after you are done inhaling the gas. Meaning that when you are done with your treatment you are free to leave right away.
2. There are no special instructions or precautions required to use nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide gas works very rapidly and clears your lungs within minutes after you have stopped breathing it. Once the gas has been discontinued you get back to your normal state within minutes. This means you can drive yourself back and forth to your dental visit and can resume normal functions and go about your daily activities immediately afterwards. And there is no additional time off required for using nitrous oxide gas. All other sedation techniques including IV sedation, general anesthesia and per-medication with anti-anxiety pills require someone to transport and escort you to your visit.
3. It can really help you feel relaxed. Nitrous oxide gas can help many fearful patients relax during their dental appointments. The gas is an analgesic that depresses your nervous system to give you a euphoric and relaxed sensation where you might even find yourself laughing out loud, thus the nickname laughing gas. It basically helps take the edge off during your appointment. When under the influence of the gas, you will still be aware of all of your surroundings and you can still respond to your dentist’s commands. This can be beneficial since your dentist can instruct you to open, close or move accordingly to help expedite the treatment. And being awake can also help you gradually concur your fears of going to the dentist given since you are relaxed but still awake and aware of what is going on surrounding you. Many of the newer patients start off using the nitrous oxide gas to get them through there more difficult first few visits and then stop having to rely on it once they’ve concurred their initial fear of going to the dentist.