Laughing Gas Procedure

At Garden Dental & Orthodontics, we offer laughing gas to patients of all ages. One of the things that differentiates us from other dentists serving the Spruce Grove Alberta people and surrounding communities of Stony Plain and Parkland County is our dedication to your comfort during your entire dental appointment.

Whether you’re apprehensive about your own checkup or have kids who get anxious about going to the dentist, we have the perfect solution to ensure that you don’t feel a thing. Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is safe for both children and adults, and helps you stay calm and relaxed for the duration of the procedure.

Other advantages of using nitrous oxide include:

  • The ability to alter the depth of sedation during the procedure
  • No after effect or “hangover”
  • Safe with no side effects
  • Effective in reducing gag reflex
  • Reduced gagging gets the work done faster, translating to fewer appointments
  • You can breathe on your own and even control all body functions
  • Very fast action. It reaches the brain in 20 seconds, and the relaxation and pain killing effect kicks in after only 2-3 minutes

More about nitrous oxide for dental use

Laughing gas contains 50-70 percent oxygen and about 30 percent nitrous oxide, which makes it safe for human use. The colourless gas has a sweet smell and is non-irritating, so even kids can inhale it with ease.

When administered by a sleeping gas dentist, it induces a feeling of pleasure, and in a couple of minutes, you will start experiencing a euphoric feeling throughout your body. This feeling is often described as a “happy drunk” state, with a bit of light-headedness and giggling.

How nitrous oxide dental procedures work

If you’re nervous about using laughing gas for the first time, it is important that you ask your nitrous dentist to explain to you how this method of sedation works.

Basically, you can use either nitrous oxide (N2O) alone or in combination with oxygen. The gas can be safely used alone for short durations, but can lead to unconsciousness if used for extended periods due to lack of oxygen. When mixed with oxygen, the gas can be safely used for longer durations.This is why it’s essential to have a professional monitoring use at all times.

As mentioned before, the ratio of oxygen to N2O varies, usually with oxygen ranging from 50 to 70 percent. 50:50 mixtures are known as “gas and air” or entonox.

Depending on the concentration of N2O and duration of administration, there are four possible levels of sedation that can be experienced once you start feeling light-headed:

  • First is a tingling sensation in the arms and legs, or a sense of paresthesia (vibration)
  • Followed quickly by warm sensations
  • And the feeling of euphoria, well-being, and/or floating. With heavier sedation, your hearing may be affected, dissolving into a continuous electronic-like throbbing
  • At the deepest level of sedation, you will find it difficult to keep your eyes open. You will feel sleepy and possibly “speak dream”

The appropriate level for nitrous dental sedation is within the first three levels. Reaching the “dream” state and feeling nausea means that the nitrous concentration is too high, and you’re being over-sedated.

Though there are no major contraindications to using laughing gas, except when diagnosed with COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – we prefer not to use with patients who have a cold, M.S, exotic chest problems, emphysema, or other breathing difficulties.

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