Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?


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Nitrous Oxide (also called 'laughing gas') is a type of gas which is used in dentistry. When combined with oxygen, Nitrous Oxide can often produce a calming effect which can be especially useful when dealing with particularly nervous or anxious patients. Nitrous oxide is ideal for dentistry due to its weak anaesthetic capabilities. Although it is an anaesthetic, its effects aren't powerful enough to use during medical surgery, it is just the right strength for the discomfort and pain associated with some dental procedures. Unlike several other sorts of sedations used in dentistry, Nitrous Oxide has the added benefit of having very few lingering after effects. As such, patients should be completely back to normal within a few minutes of stopping the Nitrous Oxide.

Inhaling Nitrous Oxide can produce a range of physical effects such as; disorientation, lowered vocal pitch, pulsating auditory and visual hallucinations and an increased resistance to pain. The main dangers which can occur from the use of Nitrous Oxide result from the disorientation it inflicts. When using Nitrous Oxide, dentists have to be very careful as patients can easily trip or fall. Nitrous Oxide may also cause an ache in your ear or your belly as it can often penetrate the fatty membranes in your body. Whilst the risks for a single use of Nitrous Oxide are very low, constant use of the gas can cause a number of unpleasant side effects which may be permanent.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »