Lora Cook, RDH
What is it and how can it help you?
Nitrous oxide, other wise known as laughing gas, is a form of sedation dentistry that our offices offer.
Nitrous is gas that you can breath. It was discovered in 1772 by Humphrey Davy. Humphrey did self administration to see if it would help on his own tooth ache he was experiencing at the time.
There is a lack of oxygen in pure nitrous so with longer periods of time using nitrous, this can lead to unconsciousness and even death. However, when nitrous is mixed with oxygen it is safe to use for longer periods of time. The mix that is commonly used in dentistry is 70% oxygen to 30% nitrous.
Four Levels of Sedation with Nitrous Oxide
1. Initial light headless, followed by a tingling sensation in arms and legs.
2. Warm sensation
3. Feeling of well being or a feeling of floating
4. Sleepiness, difficulty keeping eyes open.
Keep an open communication with your dental professionals on how you are feeling. Then goal is to remain in the first three levels of sedation. If a nausea feeling comes over you this would indicate a overdose / over sedated. Then dentist can simply adjust the percentages that you are receiving.
At the end of the procedure the dentist will administer five minutes of pure oxygen to clear any nitrous from your system. All levels of sedation are then completely reversed.
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