Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Procedure and Benefits
also known as inhalation sedation or laughing gas, is a mild sedative that helps patients with low to moderate dental fear calm down during dental procedures. Laughing gas is a non-irritating gas that is safe for children and adults alike. When the nitrous oxide is administered, patients will feel more relaxed and possibly even giddy.
Inhalation Sedation Procedure
At first, 100% oxygen is administered through the nose. Eventually, the dentist gradually releases the nitrous oxide in combination with the oxygen. Nitrous oxide sedation works very quickly compared to other sedation methods. It reaches the brain in 20 seconds, and the full effects should be felt within a few minutes.
You remain conscious during the procedure, and are able to cooperate with your dentist. Depending on the level of nitrous oxide administered, you may respond slowly and slur your words while trying to communicate. Though you are awake and responsive during the procedure, most patients don't remember anything due to the amnesiac properties of nitrous oxide. Because it's unlikely for you to remember what happened during the procedure, your fear of your next appointment is greatly reduced.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation
One of the plus sides of inhalation sedation is that dentists are able to alter the patient's level of sedation throughout the procedure. The level of sedation from , on the other hand, is more difficult to control. Unlike other forms of sedation, nitrous oxide sedation acts as a painkiller for soft tissue like gums as well as a sedative. It may only reduce some pain, so numbing may be used in conjunction with the laughing gas.
Laughing gas requires no injection, which means no needles. This makes it a great alternative to intravenous sedation for those who are afraid of needles. After the laughing gas is cut off, the nitrous oxide is completely gone from the body within three minutes, so patients can drive home safely.
Not for Everyone
While nitrous oxide sedation works well for the majority of patients, some patients should opt for a different form of sedation. Those who can't breathe through their nose obviously wouldn't be able to receive laughing gas. Asthmatics and people with breathing issues should also consider choosing a different sedation method. Your dentist will ultimately decide whether inhalation sedation is a good fit for you.
If you experience mild to moderate, you may want to consider using nitrous oxide sedation during your next visit.
To learn more about our Grand Rapids dentists and nitrous oxide sedation, please contact us here or call us at 616.988.9485. Our dental professionals strive to be the very best at providing patients with optimal care while making them feel right at home here in Grand Rapids, MI.