Nitrous oxide inhalation sedation has helped many people who have avoided dental treatment to overcome their dental anxiety. Relaxation dentistry can help you to receive the dental care you need.
Relaxation dentistry is an option for people who have:
- A fear of needles and shots
- A high level of fear or anxiety
- A strong dislike of the noises, smells and taste associated with dental care
- An overactive gag reflex
- Complex dental problems
- Difficulty in getting numb
- Suffered past traumatic dental experiences
- The need to squeeze several procedures into a limited time period
- TMJ-related difficulties where it is uncomfortable to open their mouth for extended periods
- Very sensitive teeth
Relaxation / Sedation Dentistry Options:
- Oral conscious sedation is taken mouth in pill or a liquid. Patients enter into a state of total relaxation. Local injections of anesthetic may also be given.
- Nitrous oxide inhalation sedation is also known as laughing gas. It is a very common anxiety treatment for adults and children. To avoid pain, a local anesthetic may also be given.
Nitrous oxide is one of the safest anesthetics available. It is a sweet-smelling colorless gas. Most people can a have nitrous oxide treatment. It is applied through a mask that fits snugly over the nose, approximately five minutes before the dental procedure. We can vary the depth of sedation depending on your level of anxiety.
This sedation dentistry method is safe and well established. It provides a comforting effect and the patient will remain awake, in control, and able to communicate. The gas tends to lessen anxiety, increase a patient's pain threshold, and reduce saliva flow and an overactive gag reflex that can be brought on by stress. Nitrous oxide is often used in pediatric dentistry.
How long do the effects of Nitrous Oxide last?
Nitrous oxide's sedation effect is felt within minutes, and the effect wears off within minutes after the gas is stopped. The sedation effect takes anywhere from 30 seconds to three or four minutes to begin. The patients cheeks and gums will also begin to feel numb in about a third of the patients. After treatment, patients are free of the gas' effects.
Laughing gas precautions
Two hours prior to use of the gas, patients should not eat. Nitrous oxide has few side effects. However, high doses can cause nausea in some patients. About 10% of patients do not achieve a nitrous oxide sedation benefit. Patients who are claustrophobic or have blocked nasal passages cannot effectively use nitrous oxide.