About Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide goes by many names, including laughing gas, inhalation sedation, and happy gas, but its purpose is to sedate patients for a short time during dental procedures. The dentist administers this colorless, odorless gas to ease any anxiety during a procedure and make the patient more comfortable. A hood is fitted over the patient’s nose, then the dentist controls the amount of gas administered to the patient. Since nitrous oxide is a conscious sedation method, the patient will not go to sleep, but will feel relaxed. The patient is awake enough to listen to the dentist and follow any instructions during the procedure.
What to Expect
Oxygen is usually added to the nitrous oxide gas for safer results. The dentist will begin the sedation by placing a hood over the patient’s nose that will be inhaled as the patient breathes normally. The patient will begin to feel light-headed within a few minutes as the nitrous oxide will start working. The patient will then begin to notice a tingling sensation (usually in the arms and legs) or a warm, vibrating feeling through the body. At full effect, the nitrous oxide gas will make the patient experience a sense of euphoria and allow the dentist to complete the procedure without any discomfort to the patient. The nitrous oxide can be used as long as it is needed, plus it can be switched on and off by the dentist depending on the patient’s needs.
Once the nitrous oxide is stopped, the gas and its effects will leave the body in minutes. The patient should have no lasting effects and is able to take themselves home after the procedure. There are usually no negative side effects associated with nitrous oxide gas when used for sedation, but some patients may experience slight nausea. To prevent nausea, the patient should eat a light meal before their procedure.
The insurance coverage of nitrous oxide sedation will vary depending on the reasons for use. When sedation is needed for a certain procedure, it is usually covered at least in part by the patient’s insurance plan. If the nitrous oxide is requested by the patient for fear or anxiety, the insurance company may not cover the cost. Our front office will check with the patient’s insurance company to determine their coverage and personal expenses. Our office accepts many forms of payment and helps to connect patients to medical financing plans.
Plan Your Procedure
A Laughing Matter
When you schedule an appointment, please ask about nitrous oxide sedation for your procedure, whether it is a routine cleaning or a longer treatment. We can answer any questions you may have about sedation. Please contact us today to schedule your consultation to learn more about nitrous oxide gas and other sedation options.