Can You Drive After Laughing Gas?

You know the drill. You go to the dentist, get dental sedation to relax, and then you fall asleep and don’t remember anything. At the end, a friend or family member drives you home because you’re still a little groggy.

Well, at least this is the usual picture painted in movies and TV shows. But does this actually happen, particularly if you only get a mild sedative like laughing gas? 

Keep reading to find out! 

What Is Laughing Gas, and How Does It Work?

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is one of the most common types of dental sedation. Patients inhale the gas during the procedure through a special mask placed over their noses.

Once inhaled, the gas will make you feel relaxed, calm, and maybe a bit lightheaded, but you won't fall asleep. Some people, particularly children, can become slightly more giggly, which is where nitrous oxide gets its popular name. 

When your procedure is done, your Arvada dentist switches from gas to oxygen. This helps clear out the gas from your lungs and removes all the effects. 

How Long Do the Effects Last? 

Laughing gas only lasts as long as it’s still in your system. By the end of your dental appointment, you’ll be perfectly alert, so much so that you can drive yourself home.

Unfortunately, while laughing gas is generally considered safe, it can still have some unwanted side effects. Some patients can experience headaches or nausea when inhaling the gas. If this happens, you’ll be quickly given oxygen to remove the gas, which should remove all your discomfort.

Laughing gas usually doesn’t have any long-term side effects, but if you did have a bad reaction to it, you may need someone to drive you home just to be safe.

How Do I Know If Laughing Gas Is Safe for Me?

Whether it’s laughing gas or another type of dental sedation, you won’t receive it until the dentist carefully reviews your medical history.

Laughing gas is safe for most people, but there are exceptions. For instance, if you’ve received it before and had a bad reaction, you may be allergic to it, in which case another type of sedation may be more appropriate.

Laughing gas is also not recommended for people with limited lung capacity as a result of an illness or medical treatment.

By reviewing your specific case, a dentist can make the safest sedation recommendation to help you access pain-free and stress-free dental work.

You Have Sedation Options at Candelas Dentistry

If you need dental sedation, Dr. Kim can help you find out which type of sedation is best for you.

Access a more relaxed way to restore your oral health and book a sedation consultation at Candelas Dentistry online.

If you want to learn more about sedation or our other services, feel free to call us at (720) 779-0088 today.

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