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You have a dental appointment, but you can’t get rid of those butterflies in your stomach. Some can feel debilitating anxiety before an appointment. However, should that stop you from receiving optimum oral care? We all know the answer to that question, but the anxiety is still there. Nonetheless, dentists have been tackling stress using nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Laughing gas has been used in dentistry for a long time, with the first use dating back to the 1800s. In this article, we will discuss how laughing gas can help you out during a dental appointment.

Laughing Gas And Dentistry:

Laughing gas is a colorless and sweet-smelling gas that dentists use as a means of a sedative. Basically, a sedative relaxes the body, calms it down, and makes it less receptive to pain. Hence, a sedative kills two birds with a single stone by abating pain and relieving stress.

Laughing gas acts as a mild sedative that keeps you conscious, but “zones” you out of reality. When laughing gas takes its hold on you, you will feel dizzy, lighthearted, relaxed, and most importantly, you begin to laugh at your dentist’s jokes.

Approximately 70% of dentists use laughing gas as the sedation of their choice. Specifically,many wonder about why laughing gas is at the top of a dentist’s sedatives list, and that is completely fine! Keep on reading to learn about why dentists like using laughing gas.

Exclusive Benefits Of Laughing Gas:

When the lungs inhale the mixture of nitrous oxide, the blood readily absorbs it. However, laughing gas doesn’t react with hemoglobin in red blood cells, so blood carries it to its target without much alteration. Once at the location, nitrous oxide performs its job quickly and efficiently. Thus, it is unreactive to hemoglobin. This allows the nitrous oxide to act fast, making it one of the fastest gas sedatives.

Moreover, the lungs readily expel it out of your body. Therefore, the effects of the sedative wear off quickly, so you are good to go as soon as you take the gas mask off. It is important to note that dentists frequently use laughing gas for minor surgeries or procedures.

Safety Of Laughing Gas:

Laughing gas is given in a mixture with oxygen. This is because using oxygen makes the sedative safer to use. Moreover, laughing gas is also a reliable option to be used on children. However, high doses of laughing gas or swift variation in its concentration do have some ill effects such as:

  • Nausea.
  • Headaches.
  • Shivering.
  • Excessive Sweating.

Nonetheless, in many dental setups, the laughing gas and oxygen dosage is monitored to mitigate the adverse side effects.


Laughing gas will surely make your dental appointment a walk in the park. That’s why laughing gas has such widespread use in dentistry. Nonetheless, make sure you inform your dentist if you are in the first trimester of pregnancy, have chronic respiratory ailments, or have a history of drug abuse. In such a scenario, your dentist may need to opt for another sedative. Visit Angleton Family Dental for a complete dental checkup, and for inquiries and booking, you can call us at 979-308-4450.

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