In the previous article, we understood how local anesthesia works. And today we’re going to understand the most commonly used accessory anesthesia option used in dentistry- the laughing gas.
Also termed as nitrous oxide sedation, it is useful for your anxiety control (It still needs you to have local anesthesia). This is a sweet-smelling colorless gas, and when inhaled, makes you carefree. It makes you want to giggle and forget your dental phobia. It is majorly useful in kids, as it makes sure they get through the whole treatment seamlessly. The good part, it is safe for both kids and adults alike.
The procedure: You will be asked to wear a small mask that fits over your nose. This mask will be connected to a cylinder that contains a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. You will be asked to breathe normally. After around 3-5 minutes you will start to feel light-headed. The depth of anesthesia can be varied as per the requirement. Post this, your dentist will work on you normally. As soon as the treatment ends, the mask will be taken off, and within minutes the effects will start to subside. Some people have also reported heaviness of arms and legs during the sedation process.
Is it suitable for everyone? Most people are able to undergo nitrous oxide sedation. A few contraindications include people with claustrophobia or blocked nasal passages. Also, there have been incidences wherein my patients have felt waves of nausea after putting the mask on, and then have later done their treatment under just local anesthesia. To decide if you should or should not opt for this, your dentist will be the best judge, and you should speak to him/her about the doubts you have.
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