Laughing and Learning About Nitrous Oxide

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Found around the same time that our founding fathers broke from England in 1776, nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) was a happy discovery for doctors and dentists alike–especially since they were one and the same at the time. Laughing gas has become one of the most trusted, utilized, and safest types of dental sedation ever discovered.

Medical use of gases by doctors to reduce discomfort from surgical operations seems to have started, albeit sporadically, around the late 1700s when an intrepid inventor and chemist by the name of Humphrey Davy began promoting the use of nitrous oxide in surgery around 1798. The liquid form of Ether was in wide use by those interested in anesthetics at the time and gases were slow to take hold because they were difficult to transport. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that nitrous oxide saw popular use, and it has been the anesthesia of choice among dentists ever since.

Inhaled, the gas is colorless, odorless and extremely effective at relaxing patients because it produces a pleasant feeling. Not only does it work as a calming sedative, but another effect that it bestows is a numbing sensation, and used alongside local anesthetics it can greatly reduce discomfort.

From such long-time use, dentists have found nitrous oxide to be a safe sedation method that works quickly in the system, has very few negative side-effects, and it can be quickly evacuated from the body simply by administering oxygen to the patient.

If you’d like more information about dental anesthesia, feel free to call Dr. Gregory L. Bryan and our team at Gregory L. Bryan, DDS. You can make an appointment at: 702-454-1980, or come by our office in Henderson, Nevada.