Are you (or one of your loved ones) staying away from the dentist out of fear? If so, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel some anxiety about getting dental treatment. But if those feelings cause you to avoid seeking the assistance you need, it can lead to serious problems with your oral health.
What can help? At the Yuba City Dentistry Group, we may recommend conscious sedation with nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide won’t only make the experience easier to handle, it can even remove stress to the point that you don’t even remember the procedure once it’s finished!
But what is nitrous oxide, and how is it used?
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous Oxide is a colorless gas with a slightly sweet odor and taste that has been used in medicine for over a century. Traditionally, it’s been known as “laughing gas” because of the feeling of well-being it produces in patients.
Nitrous oxide is a safe method of administering conscious sedation, meaning that you’ll remain awake during the procedure. However, when used in combination with a local anesthetic you won’t feel any pain and your fears will “disappear”.
How Does It Work?
Your dentist or dental assistant will place a mask over your nose that administers nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen. After a few minutes, you might start to feel that you’re floating, or experience a tingling sensation in your hands and feet. You’ll remain awake and in control, but your fear and anxiety will slowly fade away. Your dentist will confirm that you’re calm and comfortable before moving forward.
Although nitrous oxide helps remove anxiety, it’s no substitute for local anesthesia. You may still need a numbing injection, but the nitrous oxide helps you to no longer fear this.
Once the procedure is finished, the flow of nitrous oxide is gradually reduced to zero. You’ll be given a few minutes to rest in your chair as the effects of the gas wear off. Very soon you can return to normal activities; in most cases, you can even drive yourself home.
Should I Try Nitrous Oxide?
If you’ve been avoiding dental treatment out of fear or anxiety, conscious sedation with nitrous oxide may be the answer to getting the help you need. Of course, we’ll take a complete medical history before any treatment to make sure another condition or medication you’re taking won’t cause any complications.