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Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Safe?

January 4, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Erin Page @ 9:29 pm
Dental patient wearing nasal mask for nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide sedation, commonly known as laughing gas, has been used in dental and medical settings for many decades. It can relieve dental anxiety and make the treatment process as efficient as possible. Still, you might wonder if it is safe. For most people, it is a very low-risk sedation option. This blog post contains information to help you make a well-informed decision about whether you should use it during your next dental procedure.

How Safe Is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is considered safe. Severe adverse reactions to it are quite rare. Overdose is also rare if the gas is administered by a well-trained medical professional.

During dental treatments, a number of safety precautions are put in place to reduce the risk of unwanted outcomes. For example, nitrous oxide is always mixed with pure oxygen to keep unpleasant side effects to a minimum. Patients are also carefully monitored during treatment so a dental team can take prompt action on the very rare occasion that something goes wrong.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Everyone?

While nitrous oxide is very safe for most patients, there are some groups for whom it is not considered appropriate, including:

  • Pregnant women (especially those in their first trimester)
  • Individuals with certain respiratory conditions or allergies
  • People with a vitamin B12 deficiency
  • People with a history of substance abuse disorders

Your dental team will ask about your medical history so they can accurately determine whether nitrous oxide is right for you.

Does Nitrous Oxide Have Any Risks?

Some patients experience mild, unpleasant side effects from nitrous oxide. For example, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and shivering may occur. These issues usually wear off fairly quickly.

Of course, if you are concerned that you are having a bad reaction to nitrous oxide after you go home from your appointment, you should feel free to call your dentist (or call 911 if your situation is serious).

Should You Use Nitrous Oxide?

There is no such thing as a completely risk-free medical procedure. With that being said, nitrous oxide is among the safest options for dental sedation. Plus, its rewards far outweigh any potential downsides. For example, it may enable you to undergo necessary treatments that you would otherwise be tempted to avoid. Talk to your dentist to find out if it might help you get through your next procedure with as little anxiety and discomfort as possible!

Meet the Practice

Dr. Erin Page is a highly accomplished dentist who has more than a decade of experience in her field. She is proud to offer nitrous oxide and other sedation options for patients who feel some anxiety about undergoing dental procedures. To learn more about how our team can help you to have a positive care experience, contact our Schenectady office at 518-374-0317.

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