Keeping your gums thoroughly cleaned can be difficult to achieve, even with regular brushing and flossing. Food particles that often become stuck in between the crevices of your teeth can develop into plaque, that build up in hard to reach areas. It is therefore vital that patients take part in regular gum hygiene treatments and dental cleanings to maintain their oral health. It is also recommended that you make the time to visit your Kemptville dentist, Dr. Besher Alfarra at Kemptville Smiles Dentistry where a preventative action plan will be developed to avoid tooth decay, damage, and gum disease.
Below, we talk more about laughing gas - what it is, how it works, its benefits, and potential side effects. Let's start.
What is laughing gas?
Nitrous oxide is the scientific term for laughing gas. It's a colorless and odorless gas used for medical and dental procedures.
Laughing gas helps patients relax and increases procedure efficiency. It's gentle and effective at managing anxiety during dental treatments.
Unlike general anesthesia, it doesn't put you to sleep. It's a conscious type of sedation that your dentist may recommend if you have mild anxiety.
How does laughing gas work?
Nitrous oxide slows down the body's reaction, which helps you feel calm.
Laughing gas is delivered to you through a mask. You breathe through it, and within a few minutes, you start to feel relaxed and even giddy or euphoric. You won't necessarily laugh, but you'll feel more at ease.
During the procedure, you'll still hear and be able to communicate with your dentist. Once the procedure is done, your dentist turns off the nitrous oxide, and its effects immediately wear off as well.
Some patients, such as children, may need to receive oxygen to help get rid of the gas in the lungs.
Who can receive laughing gas?
Your dentist may recommend the use of laughing gas if:
Children may also receive nitrous oxide but note that it may not be the right choice for everyone. Your dentist evaluates your oral and medical history to see if you're a good candidate for it.
It helps to talk about any concerns you have, so your dentist can identify appropriate options for your situation.
What are the potential side effects of laughing gas?
Like any other medication, nitrous oxide or laughing gas also has potential side effects. You may feel nauseous or experience headaches. But these side effects are rare and temporary.
That's why it's important to disclose any health conditions, such as allergies, so your dentist can take them into account when determining the right type of sedation for you.
Laughing doesn't come with downtime. You'll be able to drive home safely and perform routine activities afterward.
Learn more about conscious sedation in Kemptville, ON
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