Many television shows and movies feature people being given laughing gas. When this is done, the person then has a massive case of silly laughter. It seems as if individuals sitting in a dentist’s chair are enjoying themselves. Many people see this and want to know, how does laughing gas work?
Nitrous oxide is more commonly referred to as laughing gas. Medical professionals consider it an effective sedative agent. It is carefully mixed with oxygen before a person inhales it through a small mask that fits over their nose. This is often utilized to help dental patients relax. It could be offered by a dentist to make a person more comfortable during various procedures. Laughing gas won’t put a person to sleep; they will still be able to hear and respond to a dentist’s directions or requests.
Action In The Body
Laughing gas has been used for many years. The different effects on a person’s body will depend on their reactions. Some of the various effects it can cause include:
The gas could produce a feeling of euphoria by causing the release of dopamine. It can stimulate the brain’s mesolimbic reward pathway. It also adds to the analgesic effect.
Anti-Anxiety or Anxiolytic Effect
Research has shown the anti-anxiety effect resulting from inhaling gas is caused by the increased activity of GABAA receptors. These receptors behave as the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in a person’s central nervous system.
Analgesic Effect or Painkiller
Laughing gas decreases the perception of pain by creating an interaction between a person’s endogenous opioids system and a descending noradrenergic system. It has been shown to cause endogenous opioids to be released in a person’s body.
The chemical name for laughing gas or nitrous oxide or N2O. It is a gas that is colorless and non-flammable. It consists of linear unsymmetrical molecules used to form N2O. It has a slightly sweet odor and flavor. It has been used in surgery as well as dentistry since 1844. Dr. Horace Wells first used it on himself during the extraction of one of his teeth.
Administering laughing gas in a dentist’s office has been proven to be very safe. A mask will be utilized to administer pure oxygen. Then a mixture of oxygen and laughing gas is administered. The gas often affects a person’s mental performance, vision, manual dexterity, as well as hearing. These effects are temporary. Limited exposure to nitrous oxide has proven to cause no long-lasting effect.
There are many different types of dental procedures where laughing gas can be utilized. It can be used during procedures such as root canals, placement of crowns, and more. Laughing gas can make a procedure free of pain. It is possible for people to feel a tingling sensation in their legs and arms or become light-headed. Others have the opposite experience and have their legs and arms feel heavy.
If you would like more information on the question of “how does laughing gas work?” and what to expect from a dental procedure using it, you should contact Mountain View Dental. Their professional and comfortable office is designed to meet any dental needs. Call today or visit their website to schedule an appointment.