Managing a patient’s pain as well as their anxiety is very important when providing dental treatment. Studies show that a considerable number of people are afraid of having dental treatment because of the pain that is related with the procedure. In these incidents, dentists require sedation when performing dental procedures in order to relieve pain, and to be able to provide comfort for the patient.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide sedation is one of the sedative methods offered by dentists. This form of sedation is highly efficient, and is safe to use. Once the patient has agreed with nitrous oxide sedation, an appointment will be scheduled with the dentist. Nitrous oxide sedation is the standard sedation technique for pediatric dentistry amounting to a high success rate. Dentists have been constantly using nitrous oxide sedation for children in Mississauga for almost 15 years.

Nitrous oxide sedation is useful for patients who need help relaxing because of anxiety or fears of extraction and needles. It is also preferred for patients who have issues with behavior control. Nitrous oxide sedation is also for patients who have special needs or those who have a sensitive gag reflex. In case of dental emergencies, dentists would use it because of its fast sedative effect.

Nitrous oxide is delivered via inhalation. It is absorbed rapidly after inhalation producing instant effects. This type of dental sedative offers minimal side effects. Nitrous oxide is also known as ‘sweet air’ or ‘laughing gas’ because of the similar effects that it provides. It is administered by using a well-fitted mask that will be placed over the patient’s nose. A dentist will control the amount of nitrous oxide depending on the patient’s age and the procedure that will be performed. The nitrous oxide gas is easily absorbed by the lungs and the brain.

This sedation will not render the patient unconscious. It means that patient will remain awake while the procedure is being performed. The nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen before it is inhaled by the patient. Patients will feel calm and relaxed immediately within a few minutes. Tingling sensations or light-headedness are normally experienced. Dentists can use a different local anesthetic to act synergistically with the nitrous oxide gas, and make the affected area numb.

Nitrous oxide is considered the safest sedative as well as the least invasive method. When the mask is removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide will wear off quickly. It is the only type of sedation in which patients are able to drive home safely after the procedure. Patients can resume their normal daily activities, and can eat food twelve hours after the procedure. There are no after-effects. Also, it will not cause side effects to the heart and to the lungs. However, nitrous oxide sedation is contraindicated for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease and other conditions related to difficulty of breathing.

Check with your dentist to see if nitrous oxide sedation is the method for you!

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