Anesthesiology/nitrous oxide


Not sure if this falls in this catagory or not.
I had to have a couple teeth pulled, and the guy I went to only does that all day. Hes very good and has a super reputation.
My friend is a nurse and she came with me becaue I am a whimp.
Well I was given oxygen, and I was fine. Then they switched to laughing gas. I started feeling very heavy and they said it was normal. Then I felt like I could not breathe at all, like I was suffocating. I then panicked but had a hard time trying to tell them I needed help. Somehow I was finally able to say I couldn't breathe, help... and they were telling me I was fine, but I was not. I couldn't breahe. I completely panicked, though I was super slow and couldn't really communicate, I must have though because they stopped. My friend said all my vitals were good...heart everything because they were watching my vitals.
So what happened to me? Was I suffocating? SHe said I was not. I was so freaked out I will never let them use that again. Everyone else says they love laughing gas. Me...It was terrifying.

You were not suffocating but some people have that feeling when the mask (or nasal mask in your case) is placed on. There are other drugs they could give you and I'm surprised they did not, but should you need that type of procedure in the future, I would mention to the dentist that you had this panic attack from the "laughing gas" (which is actually Nitrous Oxide). There are other options for sedation anesthesia for dental procedures and they should use one of those.

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ronald Levy, M.D.


Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. I am a board certified anesthesiologist who can answer all questions related to any type of Anesthesia with the exception of Pain Management.

©2016 All rights reserved.