Laughing gas - Bracken Ridge Dental

Laughing Gas

What does laughing gas involve?

Have you ever found yourself dreading your upcoming dental appointment? You are not alone. Consult with us to find out if laughing gas is right for you. A small rubber inhaler piece will be placed over your nose and adjusted so that you feel completely comfortable. During this time, you will be breathing 100% oxygen. Once you are comfortable breathing oxygen, our sedation dentists will introduce nitrous oxide gradually.

Over the next few minutes, you will be asked, “What are you feeling?” as the amount of nitrous oxide is slowly increased. Most patients experience an initial feeling of lightheadedness, which gradually leads to an all-over feeling of warmth. Some patients will say their arms and legs feel “very light” and “floaty”. Interestingly, some patients will mention that their limbs feel “very heavy and I can’t lift them”. It is perfectly normal to have either of these occur. Many people mention a comfortable “vibrating” or “humming” sensation. It is common to feel one’s fingertips and hands become “numb”. This same sensation may develop in the mouth, which is a benefit during the dental procedure. Some patients might notice that they are perspiring a little, which is a normal effect of laughing gas.

Am I awake during the procedure?

Our sedation dentist will talk to you throughout the dental treatment and you will be able to respond without any problem. This is a great feature of conscious sedation using laughing gas. If, at any stage during the procedure, the patient feels that he or she is getting too much nitrous oxide or starts to feel uncomfortable, let the dentist know immediately and straight away the dentist can adjust the flow of gases.

After the sedation dentistry treatment, you will once again receive 100% oxygen for a few minutes. At the end of this time, you should feel normal again. If a patient still feels even a little sedated, the dentist should give the patient oxygen for a few more minutes. In some situations, where a patient recovered more slowly, the patient might be required to have a family member or friend drive the patient home. In most cases, you will feel normal after treatment and will be able to drive your own car home.

Laughing gas has many uses

Laughing gas inhalation sedation is highly effective in the management of mild to moderate levels of dental anxiety. It is great for people who are extreme gaggers as the laughing gas minimises gagging in most patients. It can also be beneficial during teeth cleaning appointments for patients who have sensitive teeth and gums. Finally, we highly recommend laughing gas for nervous patients who have medical problems. These can include high blood pressure, angina pectoris, asthma or epilepsy, or patients who have had a heart attack. Laughing gas may not be suitable for people who are claustrophobic or unable to breathe through their nose.

Please discuss laughing gas inhalation sedation with our dentists before treatment. Alternatively, we also provide oral sedatives in tablet form for patients!