Dental Tips Blog


Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide has long been used in dentistry as a way to help patients relax during their procedure. In fact, it’s also used in the medical field as a way to help ease patients into anesthesia. Formerly called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is known to occasionally give someone the giggles, but for most people it simply helps them feel at ease.

To administer nitrous oxide sedation, patients wear a small nosepiece during their dental procedure. This allows them to breath in a carefully monitored concentration of pure oxygen and nitrous oxide. Once the patient begins breathing it in, effects take place in just a couple of minutes. Relaxation across the entire body and sometimes a light tingling feeling in the fingers and toes is the desired effect. Although conscious, patients are much more at ease as well as have a lessened sense of discomfort. After the effects have kicked in, the dentist can begin with any injections or other procedures that are necessary.

Once your treatment is completed, it takes just 5 minutes of 100% oxygen for the nitrous oxide effects to be completely reversed. You’ll feel completely level headed again, and even be able to drive yourself back to work if you need to.

Using the gas during dental procedures is common in cases where:

  • Patients have a large treatment plan that needs to be completed
  • Anxiety about dental care makes the patient uneasy about treatment
  • The patient wants the most comfortable treatment possible
  • Children are unable to sit still or may be uncomfortable

The gas is safe for patients of all ages, but may be contraindicated if you have allergy or sinus related problems (since you won’t be able to breath well out of your nose.) If you’ve put treatment off because you’re scared or don’t want to be uncomfortable, ask your dentist about using nitrous oxide. It can be used for anything from a cleaning to an extraction!

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers


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