Tag Archives: Laughing Gas

Why Do Dentists Use Laughing Gas?

Dentists use laughing gas for a variety of oral surgeries. If you need it for your procedure, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with your teeth.

Are you scared of anesthesia? Let us reassure you that it’s a safe option for most people in today’s blog.

What is Laughing Gas?

You may have seen movies and TV shows where patients uncontrollably laugh when receiving a dose of laughing gas. These portrayals make anesthesia look like a blast! But is this really how it works?

Laughing gas, also known as Nitrous oxide, is an odorless, invisible gas that dentists and oral surgeons use to calm anxious patients. It received its name because of the euphoric state it puts patients in when they inhale it. Professionals administer it using a breathing mask that fits over the patient’s nose. Although this gas doesn’t put patients to sleep, it calms their nervous system.

Discover why dentists and oral surgeons use this mild anesthetic in today’s blog.

Why We Use It

Dentists use laughing gas for most procedures, such as crowns, root canals, fillings, and ones that require them to drill into a patient’s tooth to extract decaying matter. If they didn’t use anesthetics, oral surgery would be painful, even if they did everything correctly.

For instance, root canal treatment is a standard, mild procedure. Oral surgeons remove diseased and inflamed pulp tissue and nerves. You don’t want to experience this uncomfortable sensation, which is why dentists swear by laughing gas.

Nitrous oxide numbs your mouth’s nerves to prevent them from transmitting pain signals to your brain; you won’t be able to interpret oral surgery as painful. After dental surgery, it’s common to feel mild discomfort, which is often the result of needle penetration in your gums or mouth muscles. However, laughing gas protects you from experiencing excruciating pain.

Effects of Nitrous Oxide on Your Brain

For some people, laughing gas isn’t all fun and games. When you inhale this gas, it displaces the air in your lungs and prevents oxygen from reaching your brain and blood. That’s right—oxygen deprivation is what causes you to giggle. Don’t worry; we promise it’s not as scary as it sounds!

It takes less than two minutes for the effects to wear off. You may experience mild side effects under laughing gas, such as confusion and leg pain or numbness. Some patients experience the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shivers

If you feel like laughing gas isn’t right for you after learning these side effects, you can ask your dentist or oral surgeon to administer alternative anesthetics. However, you should know that most patients won’t experience them.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Although most oral surgeons and dentists use laughing gas as their primary anesthetic, you have other options, such as topical or local anesthesia. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified surgeons will prioritize your needs. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.

Does Laughing Gas Make You Laugh?

Laughing gas is the most popular sedative that dentists and oral surgeons use to help their patients relax during oral procedures, such as wisdom teeth extractions and root canals. Most people experience anxiety before surgery, which is why most professionals administer laughing gas to help them experience a comfortable and pain-free dentist visit.

Stay tuned to learn about the interesting history of laughing gas.

The Funny History of Laughing Gas

The scientific name for laughing gas is nitrous oxide. It was discovered in 1793 by Joseph Priestley, an English scientist, but was later dubbed “laughing gas” by a chemist named Sir Humphry Davy. You may be surprised to learn this, but laughing gas was mainly used for recreational purposes and in public shows for roughly 40 years. In the 1840s, dentists discovered the efficiency of its use for sedating patients and helping them calm down during oral surgery.

Learn more about how laughing gas works and if it really makes patients laugh below.

How Laughing Gas Works

Dentists and oral surgeons mix nitrous oxide with oxygen to inhale and benefit from its sedative effects without experiencing oxygen deprivation. Oral surgeons deliver this anesthetic using a small mask they place over your nose to inhale it for the duration of your surgery.

This gas can reduce pain and awareness so that you can settle down, but keeps you conscious of being able to communicate with your dentist or oral surgeon. Interestingly, laughing gas interacts with your brain’s neurotransmitters and receptors in the same way as opioids and benzodiazepines.

Yes, Laughing Gas Can Make You Laugh

Nitrous oxide earned its nickname because of how it interacts with the brain’s neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, to make patients feel relaxed and euphoric. Most people do laugh after a dentist administers this sedative, whereas others may feel giddy or lightheaded. Other side effects include tingling in the limbs, mental confusion, and mild hallucinations.

On the flip side, some patients may experience nausea, headaches, fatigue, sweating, and shivering. If you don’t feel comfortable with these potential side effects, ask your dentist or oral surgeon for an alternative sedative.

Preparation Tips for Laughing Gas Sedation

Fortunately, most patients don’t experience the adverse side effects of laughing gas. Before your procedure, you will consult with your oral surgeon to give you instructions on how to prepare best. Generally, dentists and oral surgeons recommend eating a light meal for breakfast to reduce the risk of nausea. Additionally, they will advise you to avoid eating heavy meals three hours before and after your surgery.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Most patients have pleasant experiences with laughing gas, so there’s little to worry about. However, the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah understand that each patient has different needs.

We specialize in tooth extraction, bone grafting, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, and more. You can count on us to provide you with a transparent and professional experience with your best interests at heart.

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.

Does Laughing Gas Make You Laugh?

What Does Laughing Gas Do?

Most dental visits are standard, meaning a dental hygienist will scrape plaque from your teeth’s surfaces and polish them to lift stains. You can also expect your dentist to take a peek under your tongue to check for signs of illness. However, not all your visits go this smoothly, and you may need to undergo an oral surgery that requires laughing gas administration. 

You have undoubtedly heard of laughing gas, but do you know what it does? Find out more about this substance in today’s blog. 

Information on Laughing Gas

Laughing gas, scientifically known as nitrous oxide, is a local sedation method. It’s both color-less and odor-less. Laughing gas is one of the most effective sedatives because it relaxes patients with the pleasurable feelings it emits. 

Continue reading to learn about the potential side effects of laughing gas. 

Short-Term Effects of Laughing Gas

Most patients who receive laughing gas don’t experience adverse reactions. However, someone might experience side effects as a result of inhaling too much gas.

Short-term side effects include:

  • Shivering
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Sadly, some people experience hallucinations or sound distortion after inhaling this substance, but these occurrences are rare. Some oral surgeons administer oxygen alongside the laughing gas. Other surgeons administer oxygen for five minutes once they turn off the nitrous oxide equipment. Oxygen helps balance out the effects laughing gas can have on the body so that you might feel alert again minutes after your procedure. Inhaling oxygen can also help you avoid the side effects of laughing gas altogether. 

You should be able to drive home after inhaling laughing gas, but we recommend you wait 15 minutes after your procedure, so it exits your system. 

Some people have allergic reactions to laughing gas, so watch out for the following signs:

  • Chills
  • Hives
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

Visit urgent care immediately if you experience these symptoms. 

Long-Term Effects of Laughing Gas

Currently, there are no known long-term side effects to inhaling laughing gas; however, problems may arise if you experience long-term exposure to it. Some of the harmful effects of long-term exposure to this gas can include vitamin B-12 deficiency and developing anemia. 

Your dentist or oral surgeon knows the precise amount to administer, so you shouldn’t worry about inhaling too much of it for an extended period; this is why it’s important to only consult with board-certified dental professionals. 

You may not be able to inhale laughing gas if you experience the following:

  • A mental health condition
  • A history of substance abuse
  • A respiratory illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • You’re in the first trimester of pregnancy

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Sedation can be an intimidating prospect to individuals who have never had surgery. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah have spent years doing anesthesia training to ensure that you have a positive experience.

We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more.

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

What Does Laughing Gas Do?