Nitrous Oxide (N20) is simply a gas that has no colour, smell and doesn't irritate. It is used commonly for sedation, but is also known as relative analgesia, RA, nitrous, happy gas or laughing gas. Although nitrous can be inhaled in a 100% concentration for short periods, it is now only used in a mixture with oxygen. The individual patient’s level of gas varies, but most often the standard mix is 70% Oxygen and 30% Nitrous Oxide.
Depending on the concentration and length of administration of Nitrous, four levels of sedation can be experienced (after an initial feeling of light-headedness):
- A tingling sensation, especially in the arms, fingers and legs, or a feeling of vibratio ("parasthesia"), quickly followed by
- Warm sensations, and a feeling of well being, euphoria and/or floating. During heavier sedation, hearing may dissolve into a constant, electronic-like throbbing.
- At a deeper level of sedation, sleepiness and difficulty to keep one's eyes open or speak can occur. Should nausea set in, it can mean you are oversedated.
As people experience things in different ways, should you ever experience any unpleasant symptoms, then let us know and we can adjust the percentage of N20.
In order to administer the Nitrous, we use a mask that sits over the patient's nose. All in all, Nitrous is a good, safe way to administer sedation.
Advantages of using Nitrous Oxide:
- Works rapidly.
- Can be altered from moment to moment so that the depth of sedation can be increased and decreased.
- Has no hang over effect - the gas is eliminated from the body within 3-5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped.
- Has a variable duration of action, unlike other techniques such as pills or intravenous drugs.
- For certain procedures - it may be possible to use nitrous instead of local anaesthesia
- Is very safe and has few side effects.
- Can be used to eliminate or at least minimize gagging.
Dental precautions and common sense can prevent expensive and painful dental harm, which can often result in oral surgery. KR Dental will provide you with the best in emergency dental care for patients suffering from severe pain or damage.
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