Sedation Series #1: Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

At Green Leaf Dental, Dr. Yoni and Dr. Bean feen honored to provide compassionate, quality dental care for patients in Seward Park, Rainier Valley, Columbia City, and Beacon Hill. We understand that some patients may have a need for sedation dentistry. Small children who are prone to fidgeting can be kept calm during treatment with sedation options, as well as patients with special needs or dental phobia. We offer nitrous oxide, as well as oral sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia.

To give patients a better understanding of your different sedation choices at Green Leaf Dental, we’re offering a series of in-depth features about each sedative option. Here’s everything you need to know about nitrous oxide, which is also known as “laughing gas”:

What Is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous Oxide (N20 for short), is a safe, effective, and ADA-recommended method of local sedation. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that consists primarily of nitrogen. The gas quickly enters the bloodstream when inhaled, and it’s a very effective sedative.

What Does Nitrous Oxide Do?

Nitrous oxide has sedative and consciousness-altering properties, and it tends to create a sense of euphoria in patients, and a pleasurable, comfortable feeling that helps them relax.

How Is Nitrous Oxide Administered?

The process of administering nitrous oxide is also sometimes known as “minimally inhaled sedation”. Nitrous oxide is delivered straight to the lungs, providing you with a feeling of pleasure, light-headedness, and comfort, and slightly reducing your level of consciousness.

This is usually done using a mask-like device, which covers the nose while leaving the mouth open. When the dentist wants to deliver more laughing gas, they will simply tell you to breathe in through your nose, and they will administer a dose of the gas.

This may be done regularly, as the effects of laughing gas only last about 5 minutes or less, in most patients.

Are There Any Side Effects I Need To Know About?

In rare cases, laughing gas can cause side effects such as:

  • Headaches
  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating excessively

Side effects from laughing gas are quite rare. In addition, the effects of laughing gas wear off after just a few minutes. This means that, in contrast to deep sedation and oral sedation, you will be able to drive to and from the dentist’s office.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe For Kids?

Not only is it safe for kids, it’s the preferred method of sedation for children of all ages at our pediatric practice.

Still, we recommend discussing laughing gas sedation with Dr. Yoni & Dr. Bean before your child’s appointment, so that you will know what to expect from the process. Some children may have difficulties wearing the mask, or may become nauseated after treatment.

Who Shouldn’t Use Nitrous Oxide?

There are only a few contraindications for N2O, which include:

  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • First trimester of pregnancy
  • MTHFR deficiency
  • Cobalamin deficiency
  • Treatment with medications including bleomycin sulfate
  • A history of drug abuse or addiction

Discuss any of these potential issues with our Seattle dentists before your appointment.

More Questions? Give Us a Call!

N2O is a safe, effective, and powerful sedative that’s perfect for those with dental anxiety, or small kids who are nervous about seeing Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean for the first time. If you have more questions about laughing gas or other sedation dentistry options, feel free to schedule an appointment or consultation with Green Leaf Dental. We’re always happy to hear from patients!

You can give us a call now at (206) 316-2351, or come to our office at 4219 S Othello Street, #105-D&E, Seattle, WA 98118. We look forward to seeing you!

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