Nitrous oxide, colloquially known as laughing gas, is a popular sedation method used by our dentists. It contributes to the comfort of our patients when receiving their treatments, but exactly how does it work? Continue reading to find out.
First, What Is Nitrous Oxide?
It is a colorless, odorless chemical made from two nitrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. Although this is by definition, anecdotes from patients agree that it has a slightly metallic taste, and it even a sweet touch of flavor. That said, it is not an uncomfortable experience to receive it.
How Do Our Dentists Use Nitrous Oxide?
Our professionals administer nitrous oxide with a nasal mask, through which you will receive both this chemical and oxygen, and the concentration of each will vary depending on the level of sedation you require. Once you start to inhale the gas, it takes less than 30 seconds to reach your nervous system and in approximately three minutes your pain receptors are already inhibited.
The theory that explains how these mechanisms occur says that nitrous oxide regulates ion channels in the body. These ion channels have proteins that function as gates, which open and close to allow the passage of sodium, potassium, calcium, and chlorine in response to the presence of neurotransmitters. This means that these ion channels influence the neurotransmitters that send pain signals through our body and nitrous oxide inhibits this process.
Once our dentists complete the process, the nitrous oxide valve closes and the oxygen valve remains open. This will help remove any remaining nitrous oxide from your airway and will complete the sedation. It is a simple, painless, and highly effective process that does not require further training from our dentists and has no complications. In our offices, we care about your maximum comfort, so please schedule an appointment with us today!
Dental Blog Eagle Mountain, UT • Ranches Family Dental Dr Richard Baldwin, in Eagle Mountain, has created this informative blog to help educate the community. Read and learn about Dentistry and then call (385) 374-0500. Ranches Family Dental, 3435 E. Pony Express Parkway Suite 110 Eagle Mountain, UT 84005 / (385) 374-0500 / ranchesfamilydental.com / 3/26/2023 / Key Phrases: dentist Eagle Mountain UT /