How Nitrous Oxide Works to Make You Comfortable in the Dental Chair

How Nitrous Oxide Works to Make You Comfortable in the Dental Chair

About 36% of Americans experience some level of dental anxiety. Because of dental anxiety, some people may feel worn out mentally after a trip to the dentist. Others may stay away from the dentist completely.

If dental anxiety is keeping you from getting the dental care you need, nitrous oxide 一 more commonly known as laughing gas 一 may help.

Nitrous oxide is a type of dental sedation that can make you more comfortable during your visit here with Dr. David Blaustein at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics in New York City. You inhale a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide through a mask that fits comfortably over your nose. 

But how, exactly, does it make you more comfortable? Read on to find out.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide (N20) is a non-irritating, sweet-smelling, colorless gas composed of 50%-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. It’s not intended to make you fall asleep. 

Nitrous oxide can help during such procedures as fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions. You continue to inhale the gas through the nasal mask throughout your treatment. After a few breaths, you start to feel relaxed and may even experience a slight floating sensation. 

When your treatment is completed, Dr. Blaustein stops the nitrous oxide and instructs you to breathe oxygen through the mask. Breathing oxygen clears any remaining nitrous oxide from your lungs, helps prevent headaches from the laughing gas, and restores mental clarity.

How does nitrous oxide keep you comfortable?

Nitrous oxide reduces anxiety and pain while creating a feeling of euphoria.

Reducing anxiety

Laughing gas blocks neurotransmitters by GABAA receptors to lessen anxiety. You may start to feel relaxed within minutes of putting on the mask. You may also feel a warm sensation or a heaviness in your arms and legs. These are normal feelings as you get relaxed and calm.

Reducing pain

Anxiety can make pain more pronounced, so relaxing helps your pain tolerance increase. You can enjoy the pain-relieving benefits of nitrous oxide in as little as two minutes.

That said, nitrous oxide isn’t a replacement for a local anesthetic that can block pain signals to your brain. Together, a local anesthetic and laughing gas keep you cool, calm, and collected. 

Creating euphoria

Nitrous oxide is well-known for its ability to relax you to the point of giggling 一 that’s why laughing gas is the more popular name. This relaxed giddiness can help you feel euphoric and comfortable throughout your appointment.

Note that when you receive nitrous oxide, you can still hear and respond to Dr. Blaustein. You’re not unconscious or delirious. Once the mask is removed, you can drive yourself home without any lingering effects. 

Is nitrous oxide right for you?

As a state-certified dentist in New York, Dr. Blaustein may recommend nitrous oxide to our patients who need a little extra help relaxing in the dental chair. 

You might consider nitrous oxide if:

Don’t let dental fear prevent you from receiving critical dental care. Dr. Blaustein and the team at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, can help. Call our office

at 917-633-7312 to see if dental sedation is right for you, or book your appointment online.

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