Anesthesiologist Questions Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Is laughing gas ok for someone with anxiety?

Next month I'm getting all 4 wisdom teeth taken out. My dentist says it should be fairly quick and simple, so they decided not to put me under. But, I have anxiety and am nervous that the laughing gas may make it worse. Does this ever happen?

18 Answers

Dentist us inhalation sedation frequently to assist in relief of anxiety. While it is possible that your personal reaction might be different, the vast majority of patients with anxiety find a calming relief from nitrous oxide. As always when undergoing analgesia or sedation, make sure the dental team has a pulse oxygen analyser attached to you during the procedure and appropriate equipment available to handle any respiratory complications.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) will not make your anxiety worse but may not be enough to make you sedated for the procedure, you may need some extra intravenous medicine.
There is no contraindication to use Nitrous Oxide in patients with anxiety. No evidence exists that the inhalational gas will make anxiety worse.
Laughing gas is Nitrous Oxide, which is given in combination with oxygen in small amounts to reduce anxiety. It can produce a somewhat euphoric effect (happy effect) which is likely the origin behind its slang name. It should not worsen your anxiety, in fact you should feel better during and after the procedure.
nitrous oxide(laughing gas) should work well for you.
Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, has analgesic and anesthetic properties, but is not an anxiolytic, and can increase sympathetic nervous system drive. I would not recommend it for you. I would recommend taking an anxiolytic, like valium, a few hour before surgery to treat your anxiety, and be sure to have someone drive you to your dentist and home as you will not be reliably safe as a driver after taking valium.
Absolutely fine
Better though is IV sedation
More precise and total anxiety relief with no
Side effects
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You are because of your anxiety the BEST candidate for laughing gas from your dentist. 
N2O, known as laughing gas, is associated with hallucinations. If you are a very nervous person, then you need to be sedated with a stronger medication like benzodiazepine or maybe you could need a general anesthetic. Consult with your dentist.
It won't. Another option is to take anxiolytic like Xanax an hour or two before procedure.
If you have high anxiety, I would recommend deep sedation or general anesthesia for you. Nitrous oxide; i.e. laughing gas, by itself will not be sufficient for you. Nitrous oxide, as far as I know, does not contribute to anxiety reactions.
The short term use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) does not affect the underlying chronic anxiety problem. It is safe to use in such circumstance.
Laughing gas, which is nitrous oxide, is a mild anesthetic and has painkilling properties. It's used to reduce anxiety in some cases and it will be completely safe for that use. Some literatures talk about dissociation with its use, however I have not seen it myself.
Laughing gas does not treat anxiety. Benzodiazepines like Valium, xanax and Ativan treat anxiety.

Dr Ketch
Nitrous oxide can cause excitement/anxiety. It can also produce complete general anesthesia, usually in combination with other drugs. Your comfort will depend mostly on the local anesthetic injections a dentist should give before extracting your teeth.
You should discuss your "anxiety" with the oral surgeon who may want to arrange for you to have a real physician anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist who can give you appropriate sedation without using nitrous oxide at all.