Guns, Gas and Gums

Samuel Colt, famous inventor of the Colt pistol, needed money to promote his new invention.  So he took to the road in the mid 1830’s as “the celebrated Dr. Coult of New York, London and Calcutta” and performed nitrous oxide (laughing gas) demonstrations.  He was apparently very convincing and very successful.  Whether he immediately influenced any dentists is not known, but what is known is after that laughing gas and dentists became like peanut butter and jelly: a great pairing.  Laughing gas has a very mild anesthetic effect at very big levels, more noticeably on the gums.  Since Colt used the money he made from his laughing gas demonstrations to promote his gun business, it was left to Horace Wells in 1844  to show how laughing gas could be in dentistry.  From guns to gas, and gas to gums