Nitrous oxide as used in dentistry falls under the category of minimal sedation. This means that you will be awake and able to respond to questions and instructions from the dentist, but you will also be very relaxed. Because it only has a relaxing influence on your body, nitrous oxide is typically used in conjunction with anesthesia during dental treatment.
Can nitrous oxide help you cope with anxiety during a simple cleaning? What can you expect?
The Cleaning Appointment
A basic dental cleaning is non-invasive and is not uncomfortable for the majority of dental patients. However, you may find that nitrous oxide will greatly improve your experience if you have very sensitive teeth, an extremely sensitive gag-reflex, or if you have difficulty sitting still in the dental chair because of severe dental anxiety.
In this case, most dentists are happy to provide nitrous oxide as a means of helping you relax so that you can receive the highest quality of care.
What to Expect
Nitrous oxide is very safe, and it is carefully administered only be a trained and qualified professional. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly, and if you start to feel uncomfortable under the influence of the gas, the dentist will switch the air flow to oxygen to flush the nitrous out of your system.
Under the influence of nitrous oxide you may feel relaxed, silly, giggly, warm, happy, sleepy, or even have some tingling or numbness in your mouth, hands, or feet. Sounds may become muffled, but you will still be aware of what is going on.
Before your next cleaning appointment, be sure to discuss with your doctor whether any existing medical conditions you have may alter the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide.
Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina 29708
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