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Laughing gas for wisdom teeth removal?


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#1 mom2abcd

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

Did anyone here have just novacaine and laughing gas when getting four impacted wisdom teeth removed?

Dd needs hers removed and we are finding that there is a wide range in prices among oral surgeons. There are two in-network ones that have been recommended and they want to charge $600 for novacaine and general anesthesia. A non-network one that has been recommended doesn't charge the $124 for the injection and instead of $464 plus ($464 is for 30 min. and they think it will take one hour!), charges $110 for laughing gas.

I know some people think the laughing gas is actually safer than being sedated with other anesthesia.

Does anyone here have experience with using laughing gas for a (kind of) complicated type of dental procedure?

I found this link where people shared their experiences: http://www.healthboa...-feel-pain.html


I would much rather pay $446 than $873 plus. (Prices are after insurance's help - they pay 80% after $100 deductible whether in or out of network.) But I don't want the surgery experience to be unbearable for dd. If she would take her ipod and listen to music and just relax, do you think she would be OK? Maybe they could give her something so she wouldn't hear the teeth cracking, etc.?

#2 jewellsmommy

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 12:50 PM

Well, you could also ask for valium to be administered beforehand. They can write a prescription for you to give to her an hour before. ETA: They can do this with the gas too and that should help even more.

I do not like to be gassed, but that's just me. Are the teeth impacted? If they are, will your health insurance not piggyback the dental and cover the anesthesia? That is how ours works anyway. I had a twilight sedation and still didn't stay under. I woke up briefly in the middle of the procedure.

Edited by jewellsmommy, 27 June 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#3 mom2abcd

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

Well, you could also ask for valium to be administered beforehand. They can write a prescription for you to give to her an hour before. ETA: They can do this with the gas too and that should help even more.

I do not like to be gassed, but that's just me. Are the teeth impacted? If they are, will your health insurance not piggyback the dental and cover the anesthesia? That is how ours works anyway. I had a twilight sedation and still didn't stay under. I woke up briefly in the middle of the procedure.


The teeth are impacted. The $$$ place gave the code for complicated impacted.

Good to know that a prescription for Valium may be helpful. I didn't understand about what would help even more-- can they give valium with the gas? I think she would prefer it if she was "out of it."

I know I have trouble coming out from under anesthesia and I think that would be a plus with the laughing gas because you come out of it more quickly and feel like yourself. (Of course, pain medication would be needed!)

The insurance will pay for the dental work and the anesthesia, but they have a $1500 max and the estimate is for much more.

Was that awful to wake up in the middle of the procedure? Yikes!

#4 soror

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:07 PM

It is my understanding that the laughing gas doesn't help with the pain at all. I wouldn't think novocaine would be near enough for impacted wisdom teeth, there is no way I'd attempt that at all or have one of my kids do that. Even though I hate the thought of anesthesia. DD(4 almost 5) at the time had some cavities filled w/ just laughing gas but they were very, very minor.

#5 Starr

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:08 PM

They don't put you under like for in the hospital for abdominal surgery. It's IV sedation. It would be hard to stay still for the removal of 4 impacted wisdom teeth at one setting without sedation. Both of my dc had this done recently. One had an easier recovery than the other. You really need to think a week or more before all is well. I had my impacted teeth out with only novocaine in the dark ages. I did fine but they only did one tooth at a time.

The laughing gas calms the patient so they can put in the IV and start the sedation.

#6 stripe

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

My oral surgeon strongly advised against laughing gas.

#7 jewellsmommy

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:12 PM

The teeth are impacted. The $$$ place gave the code for complicated impacted.

Good to know that a prescription for Valium may be helpful. I didn't understand about what would help even more-- can they give valium with the gas? I think she would prefer it if she was "out of it."

I know I have trouble coming out from under anesthesia and I think that would be a plus with the laughing gas because you come out of it more quickly and feel like yourself. (Of course, pain medication would be needed!)

The insurance will pay for the dental work and the anesthesia, but they have a $1500 max and the estimate is for much more.

Was that awful to wake up in the middle of the procedure? Yikes!



The Valium will start her relaxing so that she doesn't get tense and anxious. My experience has been that, yes, they can give her Valium even though she will also be gassed. The combination of the 2 will be better than just the gas alone. It doesn't hurt to ask. Ask if she can have both valium (beforehand) and gas for the procedure.


I have woken under twilight sedation each of the 3 times I have had it. You are not supposed to be able to remember anything, but I do. I'm just special I guess :tongue_smilie:. I woke during an upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, and wisdom teeth removal. I have distinct memories from each. I yelled at the doctor during the colonoscopy.

I will say, given my experience, I would not want to be 'just' gassed (with novacaine) to get through 4 teeth.

Edited by jewellsmommy, 27 June 2012 - 01:20 PM.


#8 Dory

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:18 PM

I've never had laughing gas for my teeth, but I had it with my first labor. It didn't cut the pain at all, and it made me horribly sick. I found out later that it made my mom sick too when she tried it. I hate needles but I would prefer getting a needle to numb the pain than laughing gas.

#9 JFSinIL

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:19 PM

Watch out, too, for insurance not covering it all if she goes over the yearly amount they cover for dental...we found this out the hard way. CollegeMan needed all four teeth out. Turns out insurance would have paid more if he had had two at a time done over two of their calender years (even though that would double their cost of covering anesthesia!). We had to come up with a few hundred more than we thought we would after the teeth were out. :-(

#10 TranquilMind

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:20 PM

Did anyone here have just novacaine and laughing gas when getting four impacted wisdom teeth removed?

Dd needs hers removed and we are finding that there is a wide range in prices among oral surgeons. There are two in-network ones that have been recommended and they want to charge $600 for novacaine and general anesthesia. A non-network one that has been recommended doesn't charge the $124 for the injection and instead of $464 plus ($464 is for 30 min. and they think it will take one hour!), charges $110 for laughing gas.

I know some people think the laughing gas is actually safer than being sedated with other anesthesia.

Does anyone here have experience with using laughing gas for a (kind of) complicated type of dental procedure?

I found this link where people shared their experiences: http://www.healthboa...-feel-pain.html


I would much rather pay $446 than $873 plus. (Prices are after insurance's help - they pay 80% after $100 deductible whether in or out of network.) But I don't want the surgery experience to be unbearable for dd. If she would take her ipod and listen to music and just relax, do you think she would be OK? Maybe they could give her something so she wouldn't hear the teeth cracking, etc.?

I had that done a couple of years ago, when a tooth had to be cut to half size and topped over (less than a crown- can't remember what he called it).

I got high as a kite but it didn't really relax me. I didn't find it very useful. They kept waiting and waiting and waiting...

At the end of the appt, I was fine and drove to someone's house, but then that person ended up driving me home because I was really high.

Everyone reacts differently.

With later dental work, I just decided to forego it and have my husband come with me to keep up a running dialog and relax me. That worked better.

#11 jewellsmommy

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:26 PM

Did anyone here have just novacaine and laughing gas when getting four impacted wisdom teeth removed?

Dd needs hers removed and we are finding that there is a wide range in prices among oral surgeons. There are two in-network ones that have been recommended and they want to charge $600 for novacaine and general anesthesia. A non-network one that has been recommended doesn't charge the $124 for the injection and instead of $464 plus ($464 is for 30 min. and they think it will take one hour!), charges $110 for laughing gas.

I know some people think the laughing gas is actually safer than being sedated with other anesthesia.

Does anyone here have experience with using laughing gas for a (kind of) complicated type of dental procedure?

I found this link where people shared their experiences: http://www.healthboa...-feel-pain.html


I would much rather pay $446 than $873 plus. (Prices are after insurance's help - they pay 80% after $100 deductible whether in or out of network.) But I don't want the surgery experience to be unbearable for dd. If she would take her ipod and listen to music and just relax, do you think she would be OK? Maybe they could give her something so she wouldn't hear the teeth cracking, etc.?



I wanted to add that dh said that hearing this sound was a very disturbing experience for him. He had a molar removed, and they had to break it. Now, he wasn't gassed at the time, so maybe that would have made the difference. I would definitely have the ipod ready and somewhat loud, relaxing, but loud :tongue_smilie:.

#12 Lolly

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:32 PM

I had all 4 removed with only gas and novacaine. It worked very well for me. (All 4 weren't impacted. I think two?) The only problem came from the fact that I tried to talk to them the entire time. Seems that gas makes me quite sociable. I experience no pain. The time passed very quickly for my happy self. It was...enjoyable.:lol:

#13 jewellsmommy

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:33 PM

I've never had laughing gas for my teeth, but I had it with my first labor. It didn't cut the pain at all, and it made me horribly sick. I found out later that it made my mom sick too when she tried it. I hate needles but I would prefer getting a needle to numb the pain than laughing gas.



OH, that is a very good point. Ds was gassed for a regular baby tooth removal, and they warned that nausea/vomiting was a possible side effect. The last you would want to do would be to experience vomiting with a swollen mouth full of stitches! That would be horrible!

Sorry op, I know that is not what you wanted to hear. :grouphug: These type of decisions are so hard when you just don't know how someone will react to certain meds or situations.

ETA: Ds did NOT throw up though. I had him eat light for most of that day afterward. If your dd follows their guidelines and doesn't beforehand, maybe it won't bother her?

Edited by jewellsmommy, 27 June 2012 - 01:35 PM.


#14 Tiramisu

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

The Valium will start her relaxing so that she doesn't get tense and anxious. My experience has been that, yes, they can give her Valium even though she will also be gassed. The combination of the 2 will be better than just the gas alone. It doesn't hurt to ask. Ask if she can have both valium (beforehand) and gas for the procedure.


I have woken under twilight sedation each of the 3 times I have had it. You are not supposed to be able to remember anything, but I do. I'm just special I guess :tongue_smilie:. I woke during an upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, and wisdom teeth removal. I have distinct memories from each. I yelled at the doctor during the colonoscopy.

I will say, given my experience, I would not want to be 'just' gassed (with novacaine) to get through 4 teeth.


I woke up during IV sedation during a procedure with an oral surgeon. It wasn't upsetting. I just remember him saying, "Kel, are you awake?" I answered yes and heard him get really upset with the person who was supposed to be watching my vitals. Then when I came out of it, the assistants were still talking about how mad he got.

I have had three oral surgeries and for two of them I had IV sedation. I was nervous at first but later grateful. The last one was the most minor but it was still a little distressing and I was so glad I wasn't awake for the others. Knowing my dd, it would be better if she were not awake, but every kid is different. My next one doesn't mind extractions at all, but she never had a wisdom tooth out.

#15 Alphabetika

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:44 PM

My oral surgeon strongly advised against laughing gas.


:iagree:My dd is about to get her wisdom teeth out and the oral surgeon said he strongly prefers NOT to do it with laughing gas only. And my dd's aren't severely impacted like it sounds your dd's might be.

ETA: She had l.g. and novacaine when she had her four permanent teeth pulled before getting braces, and she didn't have any bad side effects afterwards. She said she did hear the teeth cracking but she was in la-la land and she just didn't care, and she wasn't in any pain because of the novacaine. But that was a much more minor procedure than wisdom teeth. There was no cutting with her other surgery, for instance, compared to what there would be with wisdoms.

#16 Night Elf

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:44 PM

I just had an implant put in on Monday. It was the second part of a three-part procedure. Both times I had general anesthesia (totally out as opposed to iv sedation where you can still repond to directions), but both times they used laughing gas to help me relax because I was antsy just anticipating the procedure. It helps to admit I have high anxiety on a normal basis. Dental work sends me over the edge. I liked the laughing gas. It definitely made me feel relaxed and I got kind of talkative. However, I wouldn't do well with just it and novacaine. While you wouldn't feel pain during the procedure, you can feel pressure, movement, and hear sounds. That would totally freak me out. If your dd doesn't have a fear of the dentist and the sensory issues, and can sit quietly in the chair, she may be fine with just novacaine and the laughing gas.

Ds15 has to have his wisdom teeth removed when he has his eye teeth exposed. He has braces and his baby canines never fell out. I plan to use general anesthesia. He also has anxiety and he's never had any dental procedure other than cleanings and he hates those.

#17 Night Elf

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:53 PM

They don't put you under like for in the hospital for abdominal surgery. It's IV sedation.


My oral surgeon offers general anesthesia, but I do believe it is more expensive than just IV sedation.

#18 LittleIzumi

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:55 PM

Yup. I only had laughing gas and Novocaine for mine, including one that was sideways and all the fun stuff. :lol: And just ibuprofen afterwards. (I had one out emergency before that with gas and Novo only, but I needed more pain meds after that one because of the infection-related pain. The other three came out in an orderly manner later with no issues.)

#19 joannqn

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:02 PM

DON'T DO IT!!!

I had my wisdom teeth (impacted, all four at one visit) under Novocaine and laughing gas. The Novocaine made me feel like I was part of an alien abduction encounter. The Novocaine wore off, and they didn't believe me until I started screaming from the pain. I ended up breaking their chair...stripped the bolt holding the arm in place...by pulling up on it from the pain, fear, and stress.

#20 Heather in Neverland

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:10 PM

No cotton-pickin' way would I get 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed without IV sedation. Even with IV sedation it was awful.

#21 momtoamiracle

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:12 PM

I had it when I had my impacted wisdom teeth removed two years ago. It didn't really relax me at all. Then they gave me the anesthesia that knocked me out completely.



I think mine cost $2000,our part was almost $1000 I think. It was an oral surgeon. I would never do it without complete anesthesia.My teeth were almost to the nerves in my jaw. It was really severe...


ETA: the day before any surgery it's good to eat mostly liquids, or very very light food. It cuts down after effects of anesthesia. I've had two surgeries before that advice and I always got nauseous, requiring phenergen. The next two surgeries I followed that advice and I didn't have a bit of nausea.

Edited by momtoamiracle, 27 June 2012 - 07:16 PM.


#22 kalanamak

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:13 PM

Well, you could also ask for valium to be administered beforehand. They can write a prescription for you to give to her an hour before. ETA: They can do this with the gas too and that should help even more.


I had only iv valium, no novocaine, no gas. I recall the first tooth being pulled, but only felt a tug and a gush of blood and a dream-like feeling of the pliers leaving my mouth and have no recollection of anything else until my mother was walking me, drunken sailor-like, to the car. Then, still very disinhibited, said, "Now I remember why I did drugs in high school." Mama graciously never mentioned it.

#23 Tiramisu

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:24 PM

My oral surgeon offers general anesthesia, but I do believe it is more expensive than just IV sedation.


My IV was called general anesthesia. I didn't know there was another type that was not ga.

#24 Susan C.

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:34 PM

I gave dd half a valium 30 min. before we left to get the wisdom teeth out. She was giggling all the way there. Then she had IV sedation. I did not price shop, I got a recommendation for a good oral surgeon and that is who we used. It only took 45 min. to get all 4 out! Its a once in a lifetime procedure and you want the surgeon to be good. Insurance covered about half of the cost.

#25 Impish

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:37 PM

They can't give her anything to prevent hearing and feeling, unless she's out.

I've had a tooth pulled awake, and it's not something I'll ever, EVER do again, tyvm.

I was knocked out for the wisdom teeth.


#26 black_midori

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

I'd let her get knocked out and just pay the necessary money. The trauma from dealing with being awake for it could last a lifetime! If they are severely impacted, they could end up needing to be cut up into bits with a bone drill & picked out - which is one of the most gut-wrenching, sickening-smelling, terrible things I can think of to have to have done in your mouth (spoken by someone whose Dad is a periodontist and did gum work, implants & extractions & I worked for him for 3 years as an assistant / front-office when younger).

#27 mom2abcd

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:59 PM


ETA: the day before any surgery it's good to eat mostly liquids, or very very light food. It cuts down after effects of anesthesia. I've had two surgeries before that advice and I always got nauseous, requiring phenergen. The next two surgeries I followed that advice and I didn't have a bit of nausea.


Thanks for the input, everyone! (Such a range-- and some VERY BRAVE mamas on this board!) For myself, I might decide to do the tough thing and save $400, but for dd, I think we will go ahead and pay the extra.

#28 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:31 PM

I've never had laughing gas, but I did have a little green pill for my wisdom teeth along with novacaine. The experience wasn't bad. The recovery wasn't fun, but the surgery itself was not a big deal. I remember feeling quite relaxed and calm, even as they were breaking my tooth and putting considerable pressure on my jaw to get the tooth out.

#29 Lizzie in Ma

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:05 AM

NO WAY! That would not be adequate to have impacted teeth removed in my opinion. I know it is really expensive but the trauma would not be worth the savings.

#30 kalanamak

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:06 AM

Thanks for the input, everyone! (Such a range-- and some VERY BRAVE mamas on this board!) For myself, I might decide to do the tough thing and save $400, but for dd, I think we will go ahead and pay the extra.


I think this is better than introducing dentist-terror for the rest of her life.

#31 TrixieB

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:16 AM

Yes, I did, and I'll tell you about it.

The dentist (not oral surgeon, just a regular dentist) removed both impacted wisdom teeth on one side of my mouth during one visit. I lost count after ELEVEN shots of novocaine, most of which I felt. The laughing gas mostly made me feel sick. It was very disturbing to hear the dentist breaking apart the teeth to get them out. Even though I was very numbed up, I could feel the pressure.

And then, two weeks later, I went back to have both wisdom teeth from the other side of my mouth removed. Same story all over again.

For my kids, I'll pay the extra and save them the traumatic experience.

#32 Bethany Niez

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 10:33 AM

I had laughing gas a novocaine when I had my bottom two wisdom teeth pulled at age 17. They weren't horribly impacted or anything.

The experience was so traumatic for me that I did not go back to the dentist for 15 years.

I'll be making sure that my children have whatever sort of sedation they need to not be able to remember the experience when it's time for them to get their wisdom teeth out.

It *can* be very traumatic. I understand the money concern; really, I do. And I get that everyone is different. But I think for a 17/18 - ish year old, it might just be too much to handle with being aware of what's going on.

Just my $0.02.

#33 Princess Peach

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the input, everyone! (Such a range-- and some VERY BRAVE mamas on this board!) For myself, I might decide to do the tough thing and save $400, but for dd, I think we will go ahead and pay the extra.


Very good decision and worth every single penny.

One consideration with laughing gas...you need to breathe through your nose for it to work. Try doing that with your mouth wide open while you're in distress. My DS9 had to have a tooth removed and we decided on lg/nova. It was very quick and I wouldn't have wanted him to have anesthesia for it, but the lg didn't do a darn thing because he couldn't breath through his nose with his mouth wide open and being very scared/stressed.

#34 dancer67

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 12:18 PM

Both me and my daughter had impacted wisdom teeth. I would highly suggest she is put out.

For my daughter, two were in. But the two that were not were difficult. One, they actually had to take a piece of her jawbone. So there is no way she would have survived that under only laughing gas. They would have had to sedate her anyways. Sedation is safe. Much safer then a general.

I had all 4 impacted. It took two hours. I was under a general anesthetic.

Laughing gas, IMO is great for kids who need fillings or even root canals. My 13 yo gets laughing gas anytime she has had a filling. And had it when she was 6 yo for a baby pulpotomy with a crown.

It is worth the $$$ to have her sedated.


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