Laughing gas for tooth extraction

I would love any feedback, suggestions, or input regarding using only laughing gas during wisdom teeth removal. I'm in my early 30's and need all my wisdom teeth extracted. My insurance company has slim pickings for oral surgeons unfortunately, and I feel like a doctor's reputation is more important than what kind of pain management they use..So please, someone tell me if you ever had laughing gas? What is it like? Am I crazy for not getting put under (which I would prefer)? Is laughing gas (vs anesthesia) safer? I'm totally freaking out..Thank You

MaryMiss MaryMiss
Jan '17

My 19 year old son had all his taken out a few months ago. They gave him gas and an IV. It took only a half hour he came out after 15 min. The gas was to get him relaxed and the iv they put in is what they call twilight. His was very successful he was back to work 3 days later. Depending on your insurance I would definitely use dental health assoc in Phillipsburg. 908-454-9800. Good luck.

kikinj kikinj
Jan '17

There's a difference between local anesthesia and general anesthesia. Local is numbing the area so you don't feel it. General is "getting put under". You have to get local. The gas may alleviate some pain but it won't gut it for a tooth extraction. You're not crazy for not wanting general, but local you have to have.

I went to my dentist one day with an abscess, bad enough I was sent immediately to the oral surgeon for a procedure. My blood pressure must have been sky high, I totally didn't expect this, and I knew is was going to be a mess even though maybe not painful. They gave me gas first and ended up putting me out completely after that. The gas really did little for me. It's supposed to be used in that case as mostly sedation, not anesthesia, but I was no calmer and didn't notice a difference.

At least for me, unless there was a reason, I'd just go for plain everyday local. *IF* you get completely nervous about the whole thing, then start gas later. Either that or if you know you won't tolerate the procedure, do general right from the start, wake up and you never know what happened. Yes, general has more risks, but what they use today is far safer than what it used to be. That's what was referred to as "twilight" above, not as many risks as something like a full invasive operation.

I had a wisdom tooth out later, did just local, and I was fine. To me, all I want is just not to feel it. As long as its just totally numb, I'm good.

I only had 1 wisdom tooth (easily extracted), and if I recall correctly I had gas and lidocaine (no IV).

Nitrous is good stuff.... you get "sleepy" but not completely out. Kind of like you just don't care what they are doing inside your mouth anymore. You can still recognize what's going on, sort of respond to questions, but you don't really feel like you're there at the same time. Your body seems to feel a bit heavy, don't want to move, etc.

The effects wear off quickly once the gas is removed, so that's why local anesthetics and pain killers are administered during the procedure.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
Jan '17

OK - thank you for the clarification GC. I guess I should that I met with last night said he would use laughing gas AND Novocain which I guess is a local anesthesia. I pretty much have two options now - Go to a good dentist using laughing gas and novacain or a doctor that has sub-par reviews and get general anesthesia which I originally thought was always done with wisdom teeth. guess not

MaryMiss MaryMiss
Jan '17

"Novocaine" is a local anesthetic... either swabbed on or injected (or both).

It's actually Lidocaine and/or Benzocaine, though. Novocaine generally stopped being used in the 80's.

While effective, it lasts for quite a while after the procedure is over. Good for pain relief, bad for accidentally biting your cheek or tongue and feeling like you can't swallow.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
Jan '17

thank you all for your input and knowledge - I really appreciate it! Pure fear has kept me from this surgery for over a decade. It's silly I know, but every superman has it's kryptonite I guess

MaryMiss MaryMiss
Jan '17

I had all four wisdom teeth out at 19 years old, by an oral surgeon, using only laughing gas and local anesthesia. I've never had to be put under general anesthesia, and my parents didn't think it was worth the unnecessary risk. I don't generally have a fear of the dentist as some people do, so it was fairly easy. They let me wear headphones and listen to music as well. Laughing gas definitely takes the edge off and kind of gave me a "floating" feeling. And it definitely makes you laugh. I cracked up listening to the doctor and the assistant argue over how much Vaseline they would need for the mouth guard thingy that holds your mouth open.

Good luck!

Tracy Tracy
Jan '17

I had all 4 wisdom teeth out at 24 with just a bunch of novocaine shots, no other anesthesia or gas. I finally got a job with medical coverage and I remember I went in for just a consult. He said, I have time now. Next thing I knew he was pulling them out.

It can be done. No pain, the worst part is the sound because it echos in your skull. Maybe you can wear earbuds with music, they didn't have earbuds back then!

I took my kids to get wisdom teeth out at age 17, before any large roots had formed. I consider it was a gift to them, they will never have to worry about this later!

hktownie hktownie
Jan '17

I would go with the better dr , he will make sure you are knumb and the nitrous will keep you relaxed , I would not want a subpar dr putting me under a general , yes I have worked in dentistry for 25 years and I worked in oral surg. Go with the better dr

Cowgirl1 Cowgirl1
Jan '17

The best for me was conscious sedation. I went to Dr. Bogart , everything went very well, I may be going back. So glad that I found him.

JudeKS JudeKS
Jan '17

Since we are talking about teeth, I would like to ask for a dentist referral, that does both root canals and crowns. Used to be one procedure, many years ago. Now it's one doc for the root canal and another doctor for the crown. Anyone, in town or close by, that does both, in the same office? Your experience? Why you like or don't like? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

sparksjbc1964 sparksjbc1964
Jan '17

I would agree 100% with cowgirl - there's no substitute for the better doctor when it comes to something like dental care. Particularly something like general is not something to compromise on. And a better doctor is exactly why most likely you would be OK with just a little sedation if you're anxious. But one of the factors is getting a full consult that the doctor can see the xrays. You can't know what you need or don't need without reviewing the situation.

sparks - Last I knew both Khokhar at Skylands Dental and Liebes do root canal as well as cosmetic dentistry. Liebes is my dentist and I had the abscess I discussed above. After that kind of infection, they have to do a follow up root canal. When he went to do it, he found the tooth was dead anyway and had to put in a bridge. I had no problems you can contact me off line too if you want to discuss.

I am wondering if wisdom tooth removal is "routine". I still have all of mine and dentists have never advised me to have them removed. Yes - they are there.

Re choosing dentists or any other medical professionals, I would never consider entrusting my health/body to anyone with poor reviews. I do a lot of research before I meet with a new health provider.

4catmom 4catmom
Jan '17

Wisdom tooth removal is not routine, but unfortunately common for the same reasons orthodontics are very common. Human mouths are becoming smaller and smaller so the teeth don't fit. A lot of times the mouth is already full when the wisdom teeth start to break through and there is no where to go. As a result my dentist tells me there are now more and more people being born without 2 or even all 4 wisdom teeth.

In my case I had all of mine too, but the other issue is they are so far back with such small mouths, they are hard to clean and prone to bad decay. I already went through orthodontics with 4 removals in the very front in order to have the space in the back. But still with such little space, the wisdom teeth are just impossible to get to even if I attempt to get my jaw out of the way.

Thanks for the information, GC:)

sparksjbc1964 sparksjbc1964
Jan '17

I went to Dr Lasser all of my life but did not care for Dr Liebes when he took over the practice after Dr Lasser retired.. Dr Martin Skrapits is wonderful, highly recommend.

For oral surgery we've had fantastic results with Dr Jay D Kim- almost no swelling or pain afterward.

Randolph Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, PA
Randolph Office: 973-328-1555
Flanders Office: 973-598-8423
Newton Office: 973-383-0700
Hackettstown Office: 908-813-9500

hktownie hktownie
Jan '17

I still have all but one of my "Wisdom" teeth. It was done with Novocain and gas. Having all out, might be a bit more than of a procedure!

4paws 4paws
Jan '17

I switched dentists to a participating one with my Aetna insurance. Now going to West Washington Dental, Dr. G. He pulled my last wisdom tooth today. 2 shots of lidocaine. The office does root canals, caps, extractions, fillings, and other typical of general dentistry. Your case depends on your current status and insurance, as you know. When deciding, I would go with the most qualified, not subpar. Good luck. Laughing gas may take the edge of, if you need that. Remember to breathe when you are in the chair and it's only temporary; you'll get through it even though you, like the rest of us, want to get up out of the chair and run. It will be better in the long run to get them out.

Htownforlife@gmail.c Htownforlife@gmail.c
Jan '17

Go for the nitrous you're gonna love it

Jan '17

I've had numerous oral surgeries and always opted for the laughing gas. As others have said your aware of what's going on but it dulls your senses enough that you don't care.

When I had my first oral surgery with Dr. Singer from Randolph oral surgery (GREAT doctor) he asked me if I wanted gas. I said the only thing I knew about laughing gas was how Steve Martin acted from it in Little Shop of Horrors. He laughed and said the Dentist song from Little Shop was his ring tone. Well unbeknownst to me at the time I wound up having several more oral surgeries. Dr. Singer got me through a very rough patch of misbehaving teeth. After it was all over I wrote a letter to Steve Martin telling him about my oral surgeon who was a fan. Steve Martin sent me a signed picture back of him in the dentist scene in Little shop which I gave to Dr. Singer. He also wrote on it "keep on smilin!" :)

Go for the gas!!

red76nj red76nj
Jan '17

Can you get both shots and the gas ?

Ashley Weina Ashley Weina
1 week ago

Yes, you certainly can.

Positive Positive
1 week ago

Personally, I’d go for the general anesthesia.
But that’s just me.

I had the extraction and, several months later, implant surgery with shots and nitrous.
No pain during the procedures whatsoever.

Courtney1 Courtney1
7 days ago

Just had this done in March, I noticed nothing different with laughing gas it did nothing for me. The doctor actually "turned it up" 4 times.....felt nothing different and just ended up pissed that it didn't do what so many say.

Not for nothing- I get gassed every trip.
Every cleaning-turn ‘er on.
And jack it.
Why not?

Does the gas not affect some or was the doctor out of gas and b.s. ing me....that's my question

I have never had it before, so I don't really know what I was or was not suppose to feel


This link explains several reasons why the nitrous may have had no effect:

Courtney1 Courtney1
6 days ago

My dentist used to use it and stopped about 10 years ago. Helped me relax and brought back some old feelings from when I was a teen and hanging with the gang Just needed a little Pink Floyd in the background and would have been perfect.

“Comfortably Numb”

Hi...I went to an amazing doc (Dr. Singer in HT). He used gas. It was painless, no bruising and I am super pleased with his work. The gas was great, no problems..

Before I went to him, I went to the dental school in Newark. They used local anesthesia (needles). It was very painful. They also did a tooth removal and implant and it was just an awful time.. I had a black and blue jaw for weeks from the needles.

The gas was great! Just my experience!

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