Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

What are the benefits of oral sedation?

Easy to control: Dentists usually prescribe a pill to keep you calm during the procedure. Oral sedation is the easiest of the three because all you must do is swallow the pill an hour before your appointment, and you feel relaxed by the time you arrive.

Safe: Oral sedatives are regulated by the FDA, so it is extremely unlikely to experience any hazardous side effects.

Amnesia: A strong dosage of Benzodiazepines causes patients to have little to no memory of the procedure. This is great for patients suffering from dental fear because they will have no recollection of what went on while they were sedated.

Responsive: Although you may feel drowsy with pill sedation, you will be awake and responsive. Since you are awake during the procedure, you will still be able to listen and respond to your dentist’s instructions.

No needles: Many patients have a fear of needles, which are used when administering sedation. With oral sedation, however, the patient can take the sedative orally before the appointment without having to worry about being pricked by the dentist.

How do you use nitrous oxide for sedation?

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.

What does nitrous oxide do in dental procedures?

Nitrous oxide or sometimes called the “laughing gas,” is offered by the dentist to help make you feel comfortable and deal with anxiety during dental certain procedures. It is not meant to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally, and within a few minutes, you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or irritation in your arms and legs. While some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel relaxed and comfortable. The effect of nitrous oxide wears off soon after the mask is removed.

The use of nitrous oxide is recommended for patients who are fearful, anxious, or uncooperative, patients with special health care needs, patients with gag reflexes that interfere with dental care, patients who do not respond adequately to local anesthesia, or younger patients who must undergo lengthy dental procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you fall asleep with nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide does not put you to sleep, although some may fall asleep. It helps you to relax and makes you feel conscious so that patients can give us feedback on the level of anxiety. The gas is inhaled through a mask you wear over your nose.

What does Oral Sedation do?

An oral sedative is a type of Benzodiazepine (i.e. Valium, Halcion, Xanax), that reduces activity in the parts of the brain that control fear and anxiety. The result is the relaxed and calm mood that will allow your dentist to effectively do what they are supposed to.

Is Oral Sedation Safe?

Oral sedation consists of anti-anxiety medication and, for many patients, is perfectly safe. Sleep Sedation involves being semi-conscious and therefore comes with the most possible risk. But when administered carefully by a qualified dentist can be a safe option for many patients.

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