Laughing Gas Relieves Dental Anxiety
As explained by our San Marcos dentist, nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” at the dentist helps relieve pain and anxiety. That’s why It has been used widely in the medical and dental profession for more than 150 years. More importantly it is safe, effective, and has virtually no side effects.
Dental Anxiety and Phobias
The thought of going to the dentist makes most people a little anxious. But in some, their anxiety becomes almost debilitating. And anxiety about medical and dental procedures is a real phenomenon. And some of this dental anxiety is based on the entertainment industry and even what our own parents would tell us growing up.
Whatever the source of anxiety, being anxious makes our other senses heightened. So the patient feels everything “more” than the non-anxious person would, including pain. And that’s why these group of patients avoid going to the dentist as much as possible. This is where using laughing gas at the dentist makes the most sense. Laughing gas has a calming and soothing effect when used the right way. And it dulls the senses, so the patient doesn’t feel “pain”. The patient simply breathes in the gas through a nose mask. Plus the ratio of the gases is adjusted to a safe and comfortable level.
Patients with more severe anxiety and phobias about dentistry can benefit from sedation or “sleep” dentistry.
Laughing Gas – Side Effects – Safety
Using nitrous oxide at the dentist is not a new concept. And this has made it possible to see if there are any short term or long term side effects associated. And the short answer is “no”. In addition, when administered the right way, nitrous oxide calms the patient and minimizes their pain perception. But when used with no regard to the details, patients’ experiences vary widely. For instance, giving too much too fast results in unfavorable responses like vomiting or tremors. Whereas not using enough produces no results. So it is important that the right mixture and volume is given for optimal results and little to no side effects. For an excellent review article, visit the Healthline website to read the article titled “Potential Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide”.
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