Dental anxiety (also known as dental phobia) is an extremely common condition - in fact, ‘high dental fear’ affects about one in seven Australian adults, making it one of the most prevalent anxiety disorders in the country. However, staying away from the dentist due to dental anxiety can cause additional problems for your oral health, including a worsening of dental disease or a need for more complex treatment.
At National Dental Care / DB Dental, we understand that the prospect of a dental procedure can be unnerving, with unfamiliar noises and uncomfortable sensations heightening feelings of anxiety and discomfort.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, rest assured that all our dentists are experienced in treating anxious and phobic patients. In our practices, we offer a range of options to help manage anxiety and ensure you receive the most comfortable treatment possible. These options include the administration of laughing gas (also known as happy gas) - a safe, effective and popular way to relieve dental anxiety.
What is laughing gas?
Laughing gas - or happy gas - is an odourless substance that is administered as a gas mixed with oxygen. It is inhaled through a small mask which is placed over your nose.
Is laughing gas safe?
One of the major benefits of using laughing gas to alleviate anxiety is that it is a safe technique with a short-term effect, as it doesn’t remain in the body. Laughing gas has a very short recovery time and no after-effects. Following your procedure, you should be able to get on with your day as normal and drive home with no continued effects.
Why is it called laughing gas?
If you’re wondering about the funny name, laughing gas is so-called because it’s common for people to get the giggles when using it!
How will laughing gas make me feel?
When used in a dental practice, happy gas offers a gentle and calming way to reduce stress and calm nerves. After your dentist has fitted the small mask over your nose, you’ll simply breathe normally to inhale the gas. Over a period of around five minutes, you’ll start to feel more relaxed.
Once inhaled, laughing gas alleviates feelings of nervousness and fear, making the dental experience much more comfortable and pleasant. You will remain fully conscious and will be able to respond to your dentist's request or directions; you can also swallow, talk, or spit as needed during a procedure.
ou may experience some of the following feelings when using laughing gas:
- Reduced anxiety
- Minimal to no pain
- Floating feeling (euphoria)
- Suppressed senses such as hearing, touch, and pain
- Giggling or laughing
- Tingling in the hands and body
It’s quick and easy for your dentist to adjust the level of laughing gas, so if you’re feeling too relaxed or not relaxed enough, they’ll be able to make you comfortable immediately.
If you experience dental anxiety and would like advice on how we can make your visit as comfortable and stress-free as possible, contact our friendly team for more information or Book an Appointment online.