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Laughing gas and tooth extraction



Junior member
May 13, 2019
Hi I’m new here I’ve suffered with bad teeth for years now I don’t feel like my phobia gets taken seriously as I’ve been to many dentists and each one has told me to grow up...I’m only young and I used to have such nice teeth but I fell into a depression that lasted for years that resulted in not showering not eating properly not even leaving my room and not brushing my teeth and that resulted in me getting black holes in my four front top teeth....to stop people seeing that black I don’t even brush them and I just leave placqe to build up gross I know it’s so embarrassing and I can’t even smile it’s effecting me getting a job because I’m not confident enough to even go for interviews because I’d probably get turned away for bad breath I’m literally crying writing this because it’s so hard for me because my phobia is that bad I can’t even go for a check up but I had to book an emergency appointment because one of my bottom back teeth have rotted away so much there’s a massive hole and it’s exposing the nerve I’ve been told it needs taken out but I’m terrified I can’t even sit in the chair without sweating and shaking uncontrollably it’s awful I’m just wondering if anyone has the same problem with their teeth and with going to the dentist and if someone could explain what the laughing gas feels like as I’m quite nervous about what will happen and I don’t like feeling faint it will just make my anxiety a million time worse
My anxiety isn't quite that high, but extraction has always been a huge fear of mine. I start shaking just thinking about it, and had to have three molars extracted in the past 8 months. I used laughing gas and it helped a lot! It relaxes you so that your anxiety is gone. To me, it feels like that state right before you fall asleep where you can still see and hear what is going on, but everything is kind of foggy, and you don't really think about anything. They gave it to me first thing, before they even did the numbing injections.

Most people have a good experience with a laughing gas, about 20% might feel not well (and then you can stop the gas).
The lagging gas does not alter your state of consciousness. What it does is give you a sense of euphoria, the stress disappears and you have a filling that everything is going to be alright.
For me, it makes me feel like I just don't care. I've had fear issues at the dentist for a long time, but recently had to have an extraction after I forgot to bring my mouthguard to a hockey game (brilliant!). Long story short, it was my first (well, and only) extraction and the nitrous made it so that I knew I was at the dentists office, and I knew I was getting a tooth extracted, but I was okay with it. My arms felt heavy and I noticed that I didn't "white-knuckle" grab the chair like I usually do so I think it does help with the anxiety. I think it also helps some because it makes you focus on your breathing as well, as if you want the gas (to get the anti-anxiety affects of it) you have to breathe through your nose cause that is where the little mask goes. I like it.
Hi Talia,

I am very sorry to read about your situation, particularly that no dentist took your fears and your depression seriously up to now. This suprises me as both issues are well known in dentistry and I would expect a dentist to treat you kindly and in a supportive way. Obviously, there are still good and bad dentists out there and you seem to have been really unlucky. May I ask you how the emergency place was? Did they treat you kindly?

We have a very extensive article about laughing gas here, you can read how it works and how it feels.
Extractions are usually quicker than fillings etc. so chances are that your tooth comes out quickly. I have seen a lot of treatment with people under laughing gas and it was very rare that someone got sick from it. The good thing is, as the gas gets added very gradually, you can pay attention to how you feel. If you ever feel uncomfortable, you can just start breathing through your nose to stop breathing the gas (and let your dental team know something is not right).

It sounds like you do not have hoo much time and like the tooth needs to come out asap, so your plan with laughing gas is certainly a good one. For the long run, it might be a good idea to look for a new dentist. A kind one who has understanding and will be willing to support you. It might be hard for you to believe but there really are unbelievably kind professionals out there who dedicated their careers to helping people like you.

You might take a look at dentist in your area, we also have a dentist recommendation section, so maybe someone from your area is there? You could then email them and tell them about your situation to see how they can help (there is a plenty of information about how to find a dentist here on the page as well). Given the level of your anxiety and that even sitting in the chair is so difficult, taking very small steps might be the best approach in order to build trust gradually. Dentists who enjoy working with nervous patients might not even need to look into your mouth on the first appointment if you do not feel up to, they simply can have a chat with you about what worries you and how to get on.

All the best wishes and keep us posted, keeping my fingers crossed for you to get the tooth out easily and then to find someone who can guide you back to care step by step...