SEDATION DENTISTRY - Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen Sedation
Many people are nervous when it comes to oral procedures. Even adults who have been going to the dentist for years often don’t like the process – and in fact, since oral health maneuvers used to be much more painful before modern technology stepped in and provided painless alternatives, many times there’s a large psychological element for adults going to the dentist. Others simply don’t like to have people prodding around in their mouth, which is a sensitive area. Children are also very nervous before going to see the dentist, since the younger ones might not entirely understand why they have to go.
For these people, modern dentistry provides a painless, easy solution to help calm nerves – nitrous oxide and oxygen. This method of sedation dentistry is often known as “laughing gas” or “sweet air,” though don’t let the rumors fool you – it definitely won’t make you laugh!
Nitrous oxide simply helps nervous patients to relax. It’s often administered directly before procedures – it’s not a narcotic, and in fact the use of nitrous oxide has effectively eliminated the need for dentists to prescribe Valium or other addicting drugs for use during and after dental procedures. A gas mask will be slipped over the face before the procedure begins, administering the nitrous oxide. If the procedure will last a long while, there might also be a nose component to the gas mask in order to allow the patient to breathe in the nitrous oxide during the procedure. When the procedure is finished, the patient is given five minutes of pure oxygen, effectively reducing the sedation method.
So if you’re a little nervous the next time you go to the dentist, ask if he or she has nitrous oxide. It really does work wonders and will help you relax!