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It is not uncommon for patients to allow dental anxiety to prevent them from coming in for the treatment they need because of their fears. In fact, dental anxiety can arise from a variety of reasons, from a fear of pain, fear of feeling helpless and not being in control, or embarrassment from having someone in your personal space.

To help our patients cope with this discomfort, we offer both nitrous oxide–commonly known as laughing gas, and oral sedation to calm anxiety for our . Today we are going to talk a little bit about nitrous oxide specifically. This clear, odorless gas is mixed with oxygen and then is inhaled through a mask over the nose. Nitrous oxide has been used by dentists for over 150 years now to help patients feel safe and relaxed. Laughing gas is generally safe to use for most patients, and is carefully monitored by checking blood pressure, heart rate and breathing during its administration.

Laughing gas has the benefit of deadening pain while making you feel good. After about five minutes of breathing it in, you begin to feel euphoria as your body relaxes. You may feel light-headed and even get the giggles–which is where the term laughing gas came from! After it is administered, within five minutes you can expect to feel a tingling sensation in the body, especially in the arms and legs, followed by a feeling of warmth, well-being, euphoria and even floating.

Because laughing gas is not designed to put you to sleep, you can still hear and respond during the procedure. If at any time you feel anything unpleasant effects you can let us know and we can adjust the dosage of the nitrous oxide to mitigate the effects.

At the dental practice of Dr. Adrienne L. Fang, DDS, we work to give you the quality care you deserve along with the best possible experience during your treatment. To find out more about nitrous oxide and to determine if it is right for you, you can reach our dental team in Valencia, California at 661-253-0588 today!