Laughing gas, nitrous oxide, is also known as a colorless and odorless sedative provided by dentists to patients. The body’s reaction time slows down when the gas is inhaled, resulting in a calm and euphoric feeling.
Laughing gas functions as a mild sedative but can also be used to treat pain. It is why nitrous oxide is used before dental procedures to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. As a sedative, nitrous oxide works fast and doesn’t require much time for laughing gas effects to wear off.
The safety of laughing gas is undisputed, but some side effects may occur like any other drug. This article looks at some potential side effects of nitrous oxide.
Most people receiving laughing gas don’t experience any negative reactions or complications. However, some side effects can occur after inhaling nitrous oxide. The side effects result from inhaling the gas too fast or perhaps receiving too much gas.
The most common side effects of laughing gas are shivering, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, fatigue, and dizziness. Some patients may experience hallucinations or sound distortion after the inhalation.
The laughing gas dentist administers oxygen with nitrous oxide when it is being administered. In some cases, the oxygen is administered five minutes after the dentist turns the gas off. Oxygen is helpful to clear any remaining gas from the body. Oxygen helps to regain alertness after the procedure. Receiving sufficient oxygen can prevent headaches, a possible side effect of laughing gas.
Patients don’t need help driving themselves back home or work after receiving nitrous oxide during a dental appointment. However, they must wait until they are fully alert. Patients may require about 15 minutes to regain full alertness, as mentioned by the California Dental Association.
People undergoing any dental procedure under nitrous oxide from the dentist in Bristol must have light meals before the process. Having light meals prevents nausea and vomiting. People need to avoid any heavy meals for at least three hours after completing their appointment.
The laughing gas dentist in Bristol, CT, ensures adequate safeguards are in place before administering nitrous oxide. However, patients must remain alert to allergic reactions after inhaling nitrous oxide. They may include fever, hives, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and chills. Patients must request help immediately if they experience any symptoms of allergic reactions.,
The side effects of nitrous oxide reverse fast, and the gas does not cause any long-term side effects. It helps to discuss with the dentist if patients develop any unusual symptoms after receiving laughing gas or if the side effect continues for hours or days after the procedure.
Laughing gas is safe but is not recommended for everyone. The dentist reviews the patient’s medical history to determine whether it is an appropriate sedation method for them. Patients with some conditions are ineligible to receive laughing gas. They are women in their first trimester of pregnancy, patients with a history of respiratory illness, substance use disorders, mental health conditions, or vitamin B12 deficiency.
Toxic exposure to laughing gas results in vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia. A severe deficiency of vitamin B12 results in nerve damage causing tingling or numbness in the fingers, toes, or limbs.
The risk of an overdose is present despite laughing gas being safe. An overdose can occur due to long-term exposure or receiving too much of the gas when administered by an inexperienced dentist. The indications of a possible overdose are choking or tightness in the chest, irritation of the nose, eyes, and throat, seizures or hallucinations. Patients may also experience an increase in blood pressure increasing the risks of a stroke or heart attack. It is helpful to understand that the dangers of an overdose require a dosage significantly higher than administered by dentists.
Laughing gas is a safe and common sedative that’s appropriate for children and adults. However, the risks of side effects remain as it is familiar with most sedatives. Any side effects are comfortable to manage and reversible and don’t cause lasting damage. Nitrous oxide is not suitable for everyone. Therefore people must discuss the procedure they are undergoing with their dentist and share their medical history. It helps the dentist will determine whether they are candidates for nitrous oxide sedation.