October 3, 2020
Visiting the dentist should never be a nightmare scenario. However, an estimated 40 million American adults avoid making trips to the dentist because of anxiety and fear, according to research from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. Does the idea of a routine dental checkup fill you with dread? Do you frequently make up excuses so you do not have to visit your dentist? Sedation dentistry can help! Keep reading to learn how nitrous oxide sedation can help ease your dental anxiety and ensure you get the oral care you need.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is commonly used to help put patients who suffer from dental anxiety at ease. Nicknamed “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen produces a pleasant feeling of euphoria that spreads throughout the body when inhaled.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Once you are comfortably settled, your dentist will place a small mask over your nose and turn on the gas. In a matter of minutes, you will begin to feel extremely relaxed and all your worries will slip away.
You will remain conscious throughout the checkup or other dental procedure and will be able to respond to questions or comments from your dentist. However, you will not feel any discomfort.
Once your treatment is complete, your dentist will turn off the nitrous oxide gas and remove the mask. The effects of nitrous oxide wear of quickly, so you will likely feel completely alert and able after just a few minutes.
What Are the Benefits of Nitrous Oxide?
Many dentists offer various types of dental sedation, including oral conscious sedation and IV sedation. However, nitrous oxide offers some distinct advantages compared to other sedation options, such as:
- Easy, needle-free administration
- Fast acting
- Quick recovery
- Minimal or no side effects
- Safe for both adults and children
Are You a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?
If you get nervous visiting the dentist or even just thinking about stepping into your dentist’s office, you can likely benefit from nitrous oxide sedation. You may also make a good candidate for nitrous oxide if:
- You have a strong gag reflex that could interfere with dental treatment
- You have a phobia of needles
- You find it difficult to sit in the same position for long periods of time
- You have had traumatic dental experiences in the past
If you are pregnant, have a respiratory disease or a sinus congestion, or are taking certain medications, your dentist may recommend an alternative sedation method.
A healthy smile is an important part of maintaining a healthy body. If your dental anxiety is keeping you from getting the oral care you need, talk to your dentist today about nitrous oxide and other sedation dentistry options.
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali has over two decades of experience providing quality oral care in a comfortable environment. The proud Baylor College of Dentistry graduate offers several forms of sedation dentistry at her Plano practice, including oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide. To learn more about how to overcome dental anxiety, visit the Parkway Vista Dental website or call Dr. Kamali at 972-818-1300.