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Nitrous Oxide: When the Dentist is No Laughing Matter

Gases / Industries

Rocky Mountain Air Solutions is not a medical advisor, but a provider of medical grade gases to areas within the medical industry.

For many people, a trip to the dentist is no laughing matter. Just the thought of the scraping, pricking, poking, and prodding is enough to induce great anxiety. Although nobody truly enjoys the dentist, it doesn’t have to be a place that is associated with fear. There is a way to avoid the cold sweats and that swirling feeling in your stomach the next time you visit the dentist’s office: Nitrous Oxide.

Anesthetic and Analgesic Properties

Chances are, you’ve heard of Nitrous Oxide by a different name: Laughing Gas. Even the name makes it sound pleasant. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) has been used regularly in the dental industry since the early 20th century but has been around since the mid 1800s. Today, it is the most commonly used gaseous anesthetic. Nitrous Oxide has both anesthetic and analgesic properties. Not only does it work as a minimal sedative, but it relieves anxiety and pain, so much that it is often used as an alternative to an epidural during child birth.

Inhaling Nitrous Oxide reduces the body’s stress response in a more natural way. It is low cost, low risk and low intervention with the body’s normal process. It increases endorphins, dopamine and other natural neurotransmitters while decreasing the release of cortisol – hence the “laughing.” More than anything, the conscious sedative puts patients at ease.

Who Benefits From Laughing Gas?

Nitrous Oxide is suggested on a case-by-case basis by dentists, but it can be used for a variety of dental procedures, ranging from simple teeth cleanings to more invasive procedures like root canals. Its use depends entirely on the patient, their age, and their pain tolerance.

Nitrous Oxide may be ideal for those with sensitive teeth, bad gag reflexes, low pain tolerances, those who have a phobia of the dentist, and for children who struggle to sit still in the dentist’s chair. It is not only safe for children, but a preferred method for helping children through teeth cleanings, teeth pulling, cavity fillings. It is administered via a mask that is placed over the nose.

Gas Mixtures

Procedures requiring Nitrous Oxide will never administer 100 percent of the gas. Common gas mixtures are either 50/50 Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen, or 70 percent Nitrous Oxide, 30 percent Oxygen.

When Nitrous Oxide enters the body, it is absorbed in the lungs, blood, and tissues. Its solubility in the blood and body tissues is very low. Because the gas properties equilibrate quickly, its effects will take place within one minute of inhalation, and within five minutes of taking off the mask it will have worn off. Almost all remnants of the gas leave the body when exhaled – 99%. In fact, less than 1% of the gas is stored, making it safe to drive home afterward! Mixing Nitrous Oxide with Oxygen makes this gas safe to inhale, and it reduces any hangover effects that might otherwise happen post-procedure.

Rocky Mountain Region Nitrous Oxide Distributor

There are typically two types of delivery systems available for Nitrous Oxide applications: portable cylinders and fixed tanks. If you are interested in setting up a cylinder delivery system or a fixed tank on site, Rocky Mountain Air has the experts available to assist you in assessing your usage and which delivery system could work best for you.

The medical and dental industries are a few of the many industries we serve throughout the Rocky Mountain region. We can provide a supply of medical grade and mixed gases specifically for your dental applications, with the perfect high purity mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen.

Contact your local Rocky Mountain Air location in any one of our five states (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska) today to set up a consultation. We look forward to serving you!

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