How Long Does Nitrous Dental Sedation Last?

Sedation dentistry in Eau Claire is an essential part of a lot of people’s oral care. It can help those with severe dental anxiety get access to even the most basic dental treatments, but it can also be used for:

  • People dealing with certain disabilities
  • Young children
  • Lengthy procedures
  • People with strong gag reflexes, etc.

One of the most common types of sedation used at the dentist’s office is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Keep on reading to find out exactly how it works, and how long its effects can last.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Nitrous oxide is a gas that you inhale through a special mask during your oral treatment. The dentist applies the mask on your nose and delivers a steady supply of the gas. As you inhale, the gas actually prevents oxygen from reaching the brain, which leads to its calming effects.

With laughing gas, you’ll remain perfectly relaxed during the procedure. Most patients will remain awake and responsive, though some can become so calm that they fall asleep.

Laughing gas is considered a perfectly safe sedation option, which is why it’s also used to treat children. In any case, the sedation used for your treatment is only chosen after the dentist carefully reviews your health history.

How Long Do the Effects Last?

You’ll be happy to know that, unlike with other types of sedation, the effects of laughing gas will be gone by the time you’re ready to leave the office. In fact, most patients have no issues driving themselves home right after!

Nitrous oxide’s effects are only present while the gas is still in your system. With every exhale, you actually push out more and more of the gas. To speed things along, the dentist will switch the mask from nitrous oxide to oxygen, which you will breathe in for a few minutes.

What Are the Other Types of Sedation?

There are 3 other types of sedation available:

  • Oral conscious - Special medication taken shortly before the procedure, or the night before;
  • IV sedation - Medication delivered through an IV to provide a constant supply of sedatives;
  • General anesthesia - The only type of sedation that makes you fall asleep. It’s usually used during complex surgeries.

The type of sedation you’ll receive will depend on your medical history, as well as the type of procedure you need. Rest assured that you will be closely monitored while sedated to ensure you have a perfectly safe experience!

Dental Sedation at Shook Family Dental

If you are considering your sedation options your Eau Claire dentist is here to help you make the best and safest choice. Whether it’s laughing gas or any other sedative, you can rest assured you are in great hands at our practice.

Book an appointment at Shook Family Dental online, or call us at (715) 955-4401 today to find out more about our services.