How Can Sedation Dentistry Help?
Many factors can contribute to dental phobia: bad experiences, a sensitive gag reflex, the sound of a drill, or even just the lack of control. For some patients, the anxiety can trigger vomiting or a panic attack.
However, with modern advances in medicine, your visit to the dentist doesn't have to be stressful. Sedation dentistry can calm your nerves while you receive the treatment you need. Nitrous oxide, in particular, is one of the most fast-acting and cost-effective forms of sedation available.
Exploring Candidacy for Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is often recommended for patients whose fear of the dentist may interfere with their oral health. It can be particularly helpful if this anxiety has physical symptoms, including sweating, low blood pressure, a racing heartbeat, or tears. You may benefit from sedation dentistry if you suffer from:
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Complex dental issues
- A fear of needles
- Past traumatic dental experiences
- Difficulties controlling movements
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless chemical compound. Administered as a gas, it is usually inhaled through the nose and has a calming effect. As a result, patients become more comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair.
How It Works
If you choose nitrous oxide as a sedation option, your doctor will place a small mask over your nose and ask you to breathe normally. In most cases, patients feel the effects within three to five minutes. Some patients have described the effects as "feeling heavy,” as though they are sinking into their chair, while others may notice slight tingling sensations in the extremities. Under nitrous oxide, individuals are still aware of their surroundings but are much more relaxed.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide is considered one of the safest forms of sedation. Because the levels can be adjusted throughout the procedure, patients do not have to worry about the effects fading during treatment. This option offers a number of advantages, including:
- Fast recovery: Because this form of sedation is inhaled rather than ingested or delivered directly to the bloodstream, the effects wear off once it is no longer being administered. As a result, patients can drive themselves to and from the dental office.
- No needles: Unlike IV sedation, nitrous oxide does not require needles or injections.
- Decreased gag reflex: Nitrous oxide can temporarily reduce a patient’s gag reflex, making treatment even more comfortable.
Make Your Experience at the Office a Relaxing One
Dental anxiety should not keep you from a healthy smile. To find out more about sedation dentistry, or any of the other treatments we provide, contact us online or give us a call at (615) 298-2040.