2226 Black Rock Turnpike #1, Suite 201 (203) 335-1011

Laughing Gas: Pros and Cons

Nicknamed “Laughing Gas,” nitrous oxide sedation is a mild sedative in the form of–you guessed it–gas. At his Fairfield, CT location, Dr. Gary Horblitt offers laughing gas to help patients feel relaxed during treatment. If you feel hesitant about mild sedation dentistry, contact our clinic. We are happy to answer your questions. Continue reading to learn how you could have a more pleasant dental appointment.

Positive Aspects of Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Are you curious about laughing gas? Here are some reasons people should take advantage of nitrous oxide sedation during their next dental appointment.

1.   Safe

Did you know that laughing gas is safe enough for children to use? Dentists carefully monitor and distribute nitrous oxide. Also, laughing gas consists of two parts:

  • Nitrous gas
  • Oxygen

Dentists dilute nitrous oxide with mostly oxygen to prescribe a safe dosage.

2.   Efficient

Dentists easily dispense laughing gas through a simple breathing mask worn over the nose. This allows the treatment to enter the bloodstream almost immediately. When laughing gas is administered, patients can anticipate the effects to kick in after a few minutes.

3.   Increases Relaxation

According to research, anywhere between 50 and 80% of adults in the United States suffer from dental anxiety. If this statistic resonates with you, you may benefit from gentle sedation. When administered correctly, nitrous oxide allows patients to feel at ease and a sense of euphoria. Thus, laughing gas can diminish dental anxiety and increase relaxation during treatment.

4.   Needle-Free Sedation

Whether you need a vaccination or blood test, not many people enjoy getting stuck with a needle. Recently, researchers estimated that needle fear and phobia affect up to 1 in 4 adults. People who associate medical care with needle sticks may avoid doctors altogether. So, it’s probable that the extent of this issue is downplayed.

Thankfully, nitrous oxide sedation can deliver the power of sedation minus needles. Instead, dental professionals administer nitrous oxide safely through a mask placed comfortably on the face.

5.   Wears Off Quickly

Generally, laughing gas requires little recovery time. The effects begin to wear off as the patient stops inhaling it. More potent sedation methods (for example, IV sedation) can leave people feeling groggy after treatment.

Conversely, people typically resume their daily activities after breathing in nitrous oxide. As a bonus, patients can usually drive themselves home after the procedure.

Disadvantages of Laughing Gas

Even though nitrous oxide sedation is a gentle, safe, and efficient option, it does come with drawbacks.

1.   Not Suitable for Everyone

Although laughing gas is generally safe, dentists do not recommend it for certain patients. Laughing gas may not be the best option for the following types of patients who:

  • Have limited lung capacity or obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Have a stuffy nose or cough
  • Have intracranial disorders
  • Have a history of drug abuse
  • Take certain drugs that might badly interact with nitrous oxide
  • Are pregnant

Since risks are involved with unsafe nitrous oxide use, be clear with your doctor about your medical history. In this instance, he may recommend a different method of sedation.

2.   Doesn’t Necessarily Reduce Pain

A common myth is that nitrous oxide is a painkiller. Despite common belief, laughing gas alone doesn’t provide proper pain-free treatment. However, nitrous oxide can offer optimal comfort when paired with a local anesthetic.

Can Laughing Gas Make Your Next Dental Visit Better?

For many, laughing gas can improve dental procedures. Are you considering nitrous oxide sedation? Call (203) 335-1011 or message us online. We can optimize your time in our office by making your experience as comfortable as possible.


Call Our Office