Sedation dentistry is used for surgical procedures and nervous patients
There are two main reasons for the utilization of sedatives in dentistry, one is the use during surgical or invasive procedures and the other is for patients who experience fear or phobia of the dentist. Here at Curtis Couch D.D.S we will aim to make every visit with us as comfortable as possible. This is why we are happy to offer Nitrous Oxide to our patients. If you are nervous about visiting the dentist we recommend notifying our receptionists when you make your appointment so that we can make all of the proper preparations.
Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled to relax patients and keep them completely comfortable during dental treatment.
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is completely safe as the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. Patients are able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
- It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide
You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.
Will Nitrous Oxide make me loopy?
Nitrous Oxide is designed to make you feel relaxed and calm throughout your procedure. Some patients report mild lightheadedness, slight hallucinations and uncontrollable laughter (hence the name). It’s important to remember that the effects will differ for each individual, although most patients simply experience a feeling of calm.
Can I drive after having Nitrous Oxide?
You can drive after having Nitrous Oxide however we recommend waiting in our waiting room until you feel alert enough to drive. As it is a mild anesthesia you may still wish to find a ride home to be safe.
You may want to ask your dentist for a “5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.