story Nitrous oxide
Nitrous oxide, or also called nitrous oxide (chemically n2o) is a colorless and odorless gas, which was first discovered in 1772 by Joseph Priestley. The effect of the gas was initially unclear at the time. After the discovery of the euphoric effects of the gas by Humphry Davey, nitrous oxide was used for amusement in markets. Dentist Horace Wells recognized that nitrous oxide was not just a type of recreational drug, but also saw great use in dentistry for its euphoric and narcotic effects. In 1844 he performed the first tooth extraction under nitrous oxide - this was the milestone for the career of the Nitrous oxide sedation. Since 1960 Laughing gas is used daily in many countries around the world to relieve anxiety and pain, primarily in dental procedures.
What are the properties of laughing gas
Laughing gas is a color- and odorless Gas whose taste is partly as sweetish is felt. Nitrous oxide triggers three different effects in the body. It has a sedating, so calming effect, a anxiolytic, anxiolytic and a analgesic, analgesic effect. These modes of action of nitrous oxide provide the individual with a feeling of Relaxation, resolve fears and increase the pain tolerance by a multiple. Because of these effects, the Sedation with nitrous oxide good for medical interventions and is especially popular in dentistry. the areas of application for nitrous oxide are very diverse, it is also very popular in the treatment of depressive people. Laughing gas therefore has one height therapeutic ready and can be used in many ways. Thanks to his cheap physical properties has laughing gas one low influence on the breathing and the cycle, as well as one lack of charm at skin and mucous membrane
Blood solubility of nitrous oxide - The blood/gas coefficient
Laughing gas has a height controllability on, which means that the dosage and effect of the gas can be well controlled. But what is the reason for the property? Of the blood gas coefficient describes how well an inhalation anesthetic dissolves in the blood. The higher the coefficient (>1), the better the anesthetic dissolves in the blood. For nitrous oxide, the coefficient is at 0,47, ie that nitrous oxide dissolves only to a small extent in the blood and the blood is quickly saturated with nitrous oxide. There is no other sedation procedure in which the clinical effect can be controlled in such a targeted manner.
Fat Solubility of Nitrous Oxide - The Oil-Gas Coefficient
The human brain consists mostly of fatty tissue. What does this mean for the properties of nitrous oxide? The higher the so-called oil-gas coefficient, the faster the anesthetic takes effect. Because the higher the fat solubility of the anesthetic, the faster it accumulates in the brain and the faster the effect occurs. The oil-gas coefficient of nitrous oxide is 1.4, which means that nitrous oxide is highly fat-soluble and produces effects quickly
How does laughing gas work?
The mode of action of nitrous oxide can be determined depending on the intensity of the Sedation differentiate. Already at one minimal/light sedation there is a anxiolytic and relaxing Effect. A feeling of warmth and heaviness spreads throughout the body. The natural breathing and protective reflexes are fully preserved. A minimized gag reflex makes the work of a dentist much easier. Also a Loss of sense of time is already possible with a light sedation.
the medium/moderate sedation ensures that the pain tolerance the sedated person increases and the pain perception in return reduced is. This mode of action is suitable for many medical interventions and makes the respective intervention easier for both the treating doctor and the patient. Even with moderate sedation, but increased with deep sedation, a feeling of euphoria be evoked. Euphoric states can be observed in about a third of patients and are one of the less common effects of nitrous oxide.
In all stages of sedation are the sedated persons responsive, be able communicate and have them control about yourself and your body. All natural protective reflexes remain in place, as do those spontaneous breathing and the response to speech. The effects of nitrous oxide are person-dependent and do not apply to everyone.
How long does laughing gas work?
The duration of action of nitrous oxide is limited to the duration of the sedation. Nitrous oxide has a rapid rise and fall, which means that the effect occurs quickly, but the effect wears off just as quickly. This can be explained by the previously mentioned blood-gas coefficient and the oil-gas coefficient. Unlike many other popular tranquilizers like Valium, Dormicum and the anesthesia has laughing gas no aftermath and disappears from the body immediately after the sedation is ended. The daily routine of the person is not affected in any way by the sedation with nitrous oxide.
Is laughing gas safe?
Laughing gas has been used in dentistry for 150 years. laughing gas, or also N2O, is the safest, most researched and oldest sedative. In other countries, such as Scandinavia, England and America, millions of patients have been successfully sedated with nitrous oxide every day for years. It is suitable next to anxiety patients also excellent for treating children or people with physical and/or mental disabilities. It has a gentle effect, is non-toxic and leaves the body immediately after treatment.
Is laughing gas safe for children?
US studies show that 90 percent of American pediatric dentists use nitrous oxide on a daily basis. The gentle sedation is ideal for children. For them, the treatment flies by and the doctor can concentrate on his work thanks to the sedation. A visit to the dentist becomes a positive experience for the child – without any fear.
What are the advantages of laughing gas at the dentist?
Compared to other inhalation anesthetics, nitrous oxide has many advantages and hardly any disadvantages.
Among the main advantages in the field of pharmacology counting:
For the practitioner:
- Good controllability / manageability
- Short preparation and follow-up phase (little effort)
- Complications almost impossible
- Relaxed work
- increase in sales
- Reduced treatment time
For the patient:
- Minimal or no respiratory depression
- Gentle on organs
- Preservation of the natural protective reflexes
- No amnesia
- Increase in well-being
- decoupling from treatment
What are the disadvantages of laughing gas?
The few disadvantages that laughing gas brings are among others
- Weak to no narcotic effect
- Impairment of erythrocyte and leukocyte production (with long-term use over 2 days)
- Diffusion Hypoxia
Nitrous oxide can be used in a variety of ways, is suitable for a large patient base from small to large and has a high safety profile thanks to decades of research and use.
What are the side effects of laughing gas?
Side effects such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting occur with the Nitrous oxide sedation occur in rare cases, are mostly due to an excessive dosage of the proportion of nitrous oxide and can be prevented by regulation according to the needs of the patient. In rare cases, an overdose can also lead to psychomotor side effects (but these are reversible after 15 minutes) and psychiatric side effects such as dreams, fantasies and euphoria.
Other possible side effects that may occur are:
- Cardiovascular side effects
- respiratory side effects
- Influencing the vitamin B12 synthesis, especially in vegans and vegetarians
- Symptoms such as tunnel vision, ringing in the ears
According to a survey by the Federal Association for Pediatric Dentists, the Nitrous oxide sedation fewer side effects than local anesthesia because the patient is fully conscious. In 7,145 inhalation sedations carried out, there were 8 side effects such as nausea (0.1%).
If you want to learn more about laughing gas, you can find it online Laughing gas textbook. Very interesting from our point of view.
Good to know: Nitrous oxide is only ever administered in combination with oxygen to ensure oxygen saturation!
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