Nitrous Oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, is a safe and time-tested option to calm a patient’s fear and discomfort during their dental appointments. This type of conscious sedation is non-irritating, colorless, and has a slightly sweet taste and smell. When inhaled, it induces a state of relaxation and helps decrease dental anxiety and pain during dental treatment.
When is Sedation Dentistry Needed?
- Sensitive Teeth or Oral Nerves: Some individuals naturally have very sensitive oral nerves. Nitrous oxide can provide a pain-free dental experience for these patients.
- General Anxiety Disorder: Patients with a high level of anxiety can find a dental office to be a stress-inducing environment. Dental sedation can help make their visit less stressful.
- Complex Dental Problems: Patients undergoing a complicated dental procedure, such as a root canal, tooth extraction, or dental implant, may opt for nitrous oxide sedation to ensure comfort throughout the procedure.
Who Can Use Nitrous Oxide?
Who Should Not Use Nitrous Oxide?
- Respiratory conditions: Patients with certain respiratory issues such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), emphysema, or acute bronchitis may not be suitable candidates for nitrous oxide sedation. The gas could potentially exacerbate these conditions.
- Pregnancy: Nitrous oxide is generally not recommended for pregnant women, particularly during the first trimester. If you’re pregnant or suspect you might be, it’s crucial to let your dentist know.
- Medications: Certain medications might interact negatively with nitrous oxide. Always provide a full and accurate medical history, including all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re currently taking, to your dentist.
While this list covers some primary contraindications, it’s crucial to have a thorough discussion with your dentist before deciding on any form of sedation. At Mooney Dental in Woburn, MA, we conduct an in-depth health review to ensure nitrous oxide sedation is a safe choice before moving forward.
What to Expect During Nitrous Oxide Sedation
When you opt for this type of sedation, you can expect to remain conscious and capable of responding to prompts during your procedure. A small mask will be placed over your nose, through which you will breathe in the gas. Shortly after, you may experience a feeling of lightheadedness or a tingling sensation in your arms and legs, followed by a warm, comforting sensation.
Throughout your dental procedure, the flow of nitrous oxide can be adjusted to ensure your comfort. Once the treatment is completed, the gas is turned off, and it leaves your system within a few minutes. The quick recovery time means you’ll likely be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
FAQs About Nitrous Oxide
Yes, it is a safe and effective sedative agent that’s used to help patients feel more comfortable during their dental procedures.
No, you will be awake and capable of responding to prompts during your dental procedure but in a deeply relaxed state.
Side effects are minimal and rare but can include minor nausea or headaches. Your dentist can easily adjust the concentration of the gas to prevent these symptoms.
Experience the Calm of Sedation Dentistry
If you’ve been putting off a dental visit due to fear, anxiety, or discomfort, nitrous oxide sedation might be the perfect solution for you. Don’t let apprehension keep you from having the healthy, bright smile you deserve. Contact Mooney Dental in Woburn, MA, today to find out more about our sedation dentistry options. We’re committed to making your dental care experience comfortable and worry-free.