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Managing Dental Anxiety During Procedure

We all know that a visit to the dentist may be less than exciting. If you have a serious problem and have to get a complicated procedure it may not be very pleasant, at least many patients think so. Statistics says that nearly 75% of adults in the US experience some kind of fear regarding their dental visit. Dental appointments can be nerve-wracking if you have a dental phobia. In such situations, we advise to visit a sedation dentistry near you.

Nitrous Oxide: One Of The Ways To Manage Dental Anxiety

Sedation dentistry is widely used and helps thousands of dental patients each year with their dental anxiety. If you can relate to at least one of the following scenarios, sedation dentistry, and specifically laughing gas, might be a good solution for your anxiety or fear of dentists:

  •         People suffering from severe dental anxiety.

  •         Having previous negative experiences at a dental clinic.

  •         Struggling to gain complete numbness for the dental procedure.

  •         Having multiple dental procedures during appointment.​

Watch this video to learn about local anesthesia, laughing gas or otherwise knows nitrous oxide as a form of conscious sedation. Educating yourself will help reduce your dental anxiety.

What Does Nitrous Oxide or Laughing Gas Feel Like?

Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the most common sedation method. Nitrous oxide is a gas that has no odor or color, and has a slightly sweet taste. With the laughing gas the patient experiences warm, positive sensations and feels relaxation in the muscles and mentally. Many patients agree that nitrous oxide is a reliable and safe solution to help them overcome fear of coming to the dentist and dental anxiety during procedures. The relaxation effect starts within minutes, and the effect wears off within minutes after the mask is removed.

What Are Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide?

In general, nitrous oxide is safe to use on most people and doesn’t have severe side effects. Very patients will experience some negative effects. Nitrous oxide side effect may occur if nitrous level is too high. Possible side effects of laughing gas include:

  •         Nausea 

  •         Mental confusion

  •         Grogginess 

  •         Numbness or pain sensations in the legs 

  •         Headache 

  •         Excessive sweating 

  •         Shivering 


We would like to emphasize, that side effects listed above are exceedingly rare. Most likely, nitrous oxide during your dental appointment will be a positive experience that will help you overcome dental anxiety. If you suffer from dental anxiety, ask your sedation dentist in 60632 Chicago, Archer Heights about using laughing gas at your next appointment.

​The laughing gas dentist administers a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. After the procedure, the oxygen is administered five minutes to restore the amount of oxygen in the body.  Oxygen also helps to increase alertness and prevent headaches, which is one of the possible side effects of nitrous gas.

What To Expect During And After Admission Of Nitrous Oxide

If you know you will be getting laughing gas during your dental appointment, we recommend eating a good meal 3 hours before your appointment. You don't want to come in with an empty stomach, but also you want to give it sufficient time to digest before taking the laughing gas. 

Nitrous oxide sedation is administered through a special mask for the duration of the procedure. The patient will breathe the nitrous gas while the dentist is working on his or her teeth. The sedation gas will make the patient feel sleepy and relaxed within minutes of breathing the gas. The patient will still be alert, awake and conscious of what is happening around, but will experience strong effects of relaxation, warm sensation in the body and tingling in. hands and feet. Dental assistant will be monitoring the level of administered gas to make sure that the patient can follow instructions given by the dentist. It's important to understand that laughing gas is not anesthetic, which means that local anesthesia injections will also be provided to ensure numbness in the mouth.


The patient will recover very quickly after the nitrous oxide gas is turned off. The patient will breathe oxygen for the last 5 minutes to get rid of any nitrous gas from the lungs and gain alertness. Another great news is that the patient will be allowed to drive a vehicle after their dental procedure, after their Chicago sedation dentist at Archer Heights gives the OK.

Is Nitrous Oxide Or Laughing Gas Safe for Children?

Yes, nitrous oxide or laughing gas is used on children with dental anxiety and is considered to be safe. Currently it is considered a preferred method of dental sedation for children who experience anxiety or fear of dentists. In some cases, it might be difficult to convince a child to wear the mask. At Archer Dental we have a team of very kind and gentle professionals, and we will do everything needed to make you child comfortable. However, if the kid refuses to wear the mask, nitrous oxide may not be the right type of sedation. 

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

When Nitrous Oxide Should Not Be Used

While nitrous oxide is a safe, easy and effective sedation method, it may not be the right option for everyone. Patients may not receive nitrous oxide if they:


  •         Have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  •         Suffer from methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency.

  •         Have cobalamin deficiency.

  •         Possess a history of drug addiction or emotional issues.

  •         Are in the first trimester of pregnancy.

  •         Are receiving a treatment in which bleomycin sulfate is used.

The Takeaway

Laughing gas is an effective and common sedation method. It’s can be used on for both adults and children to ease dental anxiety. Side effects are mild and not very common.

Laughing gas doesn’t have lasting effects and the patient may drive shortly after procedure with the dentist’s permission. It is important that the patient shares all details of their medical history with their sedation dentist before procedure. Based on the patient's current health, a laughing gas dentist can determine the right method of sedation for them.

If you or a loved one suffer from dental anxiety and are looking for laughing gas dentist in 60632, call us today at 773-581-1345 to schedule your appointment. At Archer Dental, top dentist in Archer Heights, we do everything to deliver gentle dental care with the help of our laughing gas dentists in Chicago. Archer Dental also accepts patients who look for dentist in 60638 and dentist in 60629. We look forward to meeting you!

Dental Glossary
Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work that improves the appearance of patient's teeth/gums/bite.

Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is a term used to describe fear of going to a dentist. Dental anxiety can be associated with needles, drills or dental setting in general.

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread tooth decay and infections in the mouth.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is a combination of medicines to help patient relax and to block pain during a dental procedure. The patient will remain awake, but may not be able to speak.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a gas that is used in medicine as a mild sedative. When combined with oxygen, nitrous oxide is a safe and effective way to manage pain and anxiety in dentistry. 


Sedation is the reduction of irritability or anxiety by administration of sedative drugs. Sedations is used to facilitate a medical or diagnostic procedures.

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