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Benefits of Nitrous Oxide in Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide in Dentistry

For people who fear sitting in a dentist’s chair and avoid visiting their dentist whenever they actually should, sedation dentistry is the good news for you. A lot of dental clinics in Red Deer now use sedation dentistry techniques that eliminate the pain felt during various dental procedures. Dental nitrous oxide (N2O), sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is one option your dentist may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. With proper preparation and equipment maintenance, nitrous oxide helps in appropriate completion of dental procedures and also offers a lot of other benefits. Before moving on to understanding various benefits of sedation dentistry using nitrous oxide, let us first have an overview of this process.

The Process of Using Dental Nitrous Oxide

Your dentist will first fix a max on your nose, something like the usual oxygen mask. Then, the dental nitrous oxide gas (the mild form) is passed through the mask. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes, you should start to feel the effects of nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or tingling sensation in your arms and legs. Some people may even feel heaviness on their arms and legs, which subsides after some time. Once the effect becomes strong, your dentist will move on to performing the actual dent procedure, say a dental surgery or implant fixation.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide in Dentistry

Reduced Fear and Anxiety

Some people have a fear of not visiting their dentist because of a harrowing incident they had in the early years of their life. This fear turns into anxiety over the years, and people avoid visiting their dentist as much as possible. The mere thought of sitting on the dentist’s chair disturbs them as they feel the dental surgery or procedure will be excruciating. Sedation dentistry helps to lower this fear and anxiety by assuring individuals that they won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. People will be too sedated to have feelings of worry and anxiety. Nitrous oxide can also be very effective in helping you cope with the sounds, smells and sights of the dentist office, eliciting overall feelings of calmness and well-being. Although you will be fully conscious, you won’t feel anything that your dentist will do to your teeth and gums.

No High-end Preparation

As mentioned above, sedation dentistry process happens only through inhalation of nitrous oxide. The process doesn’t involve syringes or needles. There is simply no need for injections or any other high-end machines and equipment. On the other hand, the first method of putting you at ease before any dental procedure – the process of anaesthesia – involves the use of syringes. So, if you fear getting pierced by syringes, you don’t have to worry. You will just have to inhale the gas through the mask and breathe normally. Within a few minutes, you will be ready for the next procedure. This means that there’s no need for specific preparation for this step.

Reduction in Gag Reflex

Although gag reflex is a good thing when something foreign enters the throat, it can be a hindrance for your dentist. If you are completely aware while the dentist is working in your mouth, the gag reflex can be an obstacle. Sometimes, the dentist needs to go deep inside the oral cavity, and the gag reflex prevents that. Your spasms can lead to damage, depending on what the dentist is doing. With sedation dentistry using N2O, this is no longer an issue as the gag reflex is paralysed. This means the dentist can work faster and more efficiently, and you will remain comfortable throughout.

Less Time Wastage

When you opt for getting local anaesthesia before any dental surgery or procedure, you have to wait for at least 15 minutes for the chemicals to work and leave a numbing effect. If the dental procedure is invasive and painful, your dentist won’t be able to start till the part that needs to be operated is fully numb. Fifteen minutes or more can be a waste of time for both you as well as your dentist. But on the other hand, The effects of nitrous oxide can be felt almost instantly, taking only a couple of minutes to develop fully. This means that your dentist can quickly start and get done with the surgery or restoration. Also, with nitrous oxide, patients can return to their regular awareness within five minutes. This saves a lot of time for both parties.

No Risk of Overdose

This gas is odourless, colourless, and tasteless and, thus, it is not unpleasant for patients to use. But that doesn’t mean that it can be inhaled in any quantity. The amount of gas to be inhaled should be regulated. Being a light gaseous compound, dental nitrous oxide reaches the brain quickly to induce a state of relaxation. Your dentist can quickly adjust the levels of gas depending on the type and length of the dental procedure after getting sedated. This type of control greatly reduces the risk of you being overdosed.

Diminished Memory of Treatment

Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that nitrous oxide provides considerable amnesic properties, i.e. unable to recollect treatment time fully. After the procedure, patients often report that they cannot recall the severity of their pain or anxiety or even the duration of surgery or procedure. The passage of time tends to become unclear under the effect of nitrous oxide, and patients often remark how quickly time passed during the procedure. This is an advantage as people can’t recollect of their painful dental surgeries or procedures and live a happy life thinking the procedure went well.

Sedation dentistry is not only ideal for adults but is also safe for kids. This means that you can take your kid to your dentist and lower their fear or anxiety of seeing the dentist whenever required.


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