October 28, 2021
Nitrous oxide is known as the mildest form of sedation dentistry and is safe for most patients. Also known as “laughing gas,” it can help you become easily relaxed and comfortable in preparation for a regular checkup and cleaning or even receiving a dental filling. No matter the reason your dentist may recommend it, you probably don’t know everything you should about this time-tested form of sedation. Here are three things to understand about nitrous oxide so you can feel more confident the next time you visit the dentist.
You Are Not Fully Sedated
Although the verbiage surrounding sedation dentistry can lead individuals to assume they’ll be “put to sleep” for their dental visit, this is not true with nitrous oxide. Yes, you will become sleepy and much more relaxed, but you will not be given so much that it puts you under. It is a mild form of sedation that allows you to remain cognizant enough to answer your dentist’s cues and questions throughout the procedure. Once you begin to breathe in the mixture, you’ll become a bit lightheaded and sleeping. Your body may begin to feel heavier, but it will work wonders on people with mild or even moderate dental anxiety.
Nitrous Oxide is Not a New Development
While you might assume nitrous oxide developed during the 20th century when it became more widely popular, it actually made its appearance in 1793. Joseph Priestly, who was an English scientist, discovered it. Now, it is used in most dental offices and is a safe option for most adults and children alike.
Some Patients Cannot Receive Nitrous Oxide
The unfortunate reality for some patients is that nitrous oxide is still not a safe solution for curbing dental anxiety. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to the mixture, which may cause you to develop difficulty breathing or a fever. It is also advised that pregnant women do not receive this type of sedation as well as those with substance abuse problems, vitamin B-12 deficiency, mental health issues, and even those with illnesses throughout the lungs. This is why it’s important that you talk to your dentist at length about your medical history and any current medications you are taking. This will help them decide which sedation solution, if any, are safe for you to receive.
If you need nitrous oxide for your next appointment, you can better prepare for a more enjoyable and less stressful experience. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your sedation treatment, however, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about receiving additional information.
About the Author
Think nitrous oxide is the answer to your dental anxiety? Let Dr. Gary Rosenfeld and his team provide essential information to help you better understand the process and why nitrous oxide might be right for you. At East Islip Dental Center, you can count on us to provide everything you need to feel confident about your decision and any upcoming visit. If you want to learn more about this type of sedation, visit our website or call (631) 581-8600.
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