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Sedation with Nitrous Oxide

Sedation with Nitrous Oxide – Laughing Gas – Comfort Dentistry – Washington, DC*

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Overview

Sedation Dentistry with Nitrous Oxide offers a safe way to eliminate anxiety at the dentist by giving patients a mixture of gases they breathe in through a nose piece. When inhaled, the mixture makes the patient feel drowsy, but doesn’t put him or her to sleep. The gas takes effect within minutes and lasts for as long as the patient inhales. The dentists at Washington Center for Dentistry use sedation to make patients feel relaxed, where pain and anxiety are reduced. Many formerly-phobic dental patients are now laughing – with relief – thanks to this safe and easy process.

Known as “laughing gas,” the laughs come fast and then they’re gone. When the procedure is over, the nitrous oxide is turned off and the effect disappears within minutes. Once laughing gas clears the patient’s system, normal activities can be resumed, such as driving home following the procedure.

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What to Expect

Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen to be easily inhaled through a small mask that will fit over the nose. It’s colorless, odorless and non-irritating. It is meant to relax you throughout a procedure, not to put you to asleep as some people assume. In fact, you will still be able to hear and respond to your dentist’s instructions or requests. Shortly after breathing in nitrous oxide, you may experience a feeling of lightheadedness or a tingling in the arms and legs. Some people feel a heavy feeling in their extremities. Once you stop breathing in the gas, the effects should dissipate a few minutes later.

What are the Benefits?

There are numerous benefits associated with nitrous oxide that one of our talented dentists would love to discuss with you. In the meantime, the most common include:

  • Nitrous oxide works rapidly where relaxation can set in around 2-3 minutes after inhalation.
  • The level of sedation can be changed quickly by the dentist as needed. Unlike other sedation methods, “laughing gas” isn’t preset and can be safely changed at any given moment.
  • Nitrous oxide doesn’t have a fixed duration, where its effects are felt for a set time but wears off when not being inhaled.         
  • It leaves the body quickly, usually in around 3-5 minutes, where you can drive yourself home safely after a procedure.
  • Nitrous oxide can replace a local anesthetic in some cases, especially in procedures involving the gums since it acts as a painkiller.
  • The most important of all is the fact that nitrous oxide is very safe and is tolerated well by most patients with very few serious side effects.

Laugh Away the Stress

Known as "laughing gas," nitrous oxide is used in our office to sedate customers through a variety of dental procedures. The gas is easy to use and tolerate and allows patients to be relaxed without any unwanted side effects. Gentle yet effective, you'll even be fine to drive yourself home after using. While nitrous oxide sedates you, it won't put you to sleep, Any our dentists would be more than happy to educate you on everything you want to know about this form of sedation. We encourage you to give us a call today to make an appointment.

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