When Would Nitrous Oxide Sedation Be Needed At The Dentist?

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Nitrous oxide sedation, also known as "laughing gas," is a safe and effective sedative option our dental experts at Gibson Dental Care offer at our Lancaster, PA location, so patients are more comfortable during their dental appointment. An odorless and colorless mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide (N2O) is inhaled through a small mask that fits over a patient's nose to ease any painful discomfort or anxiety. If you need a dental procedure, don't worry, this anesthetic is worry-free and more commonly used than you might think. Read on to learn more about this mild sedative agent so you can receive the dental care you need.

What is nitrous oxide (sedation)?

Laughing gas and nitrous oxide are the same – a safe and effective sedation dentistry method that won't put patients to sleep, like general anesthesia. A mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is administered through a small mask that fits over your nose while you breathe normally. You will be able to hear and respond to any directions or requests our team may have while you feel more at ease and comfortable throughout the entire dental procedure. Sedation dentistry with laughing gas works within minutes and wears off as soon as the mask is removed. Nitrous oxide side effects generally are the following:

  • Slight tingling in the arms and legs
  • Light-headed feeling
  • Arms and legs may feel heavy
  • Increase sleepiness

When is nitrous oxide sedation needed?

Lancaster, PA patients who have dental anxiety typically dread going to their dental appointments. It may be the result of hearing about a friend's unhappy dental visit or a person's own negative personal experience in the past. However, avoiding the dentist altogether is not a viable option. Men and women, and even children, who put off their dental care put themselves at a higher risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health care concerns. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial to have a good smile and keep your overall health in check. Sedation dentistry with laughing gas is often needed for:

  • Patients with a gag reflex condition that interferes with their oral care
  • Patients with special health care needs
  • Patients who are anxious or fearful during dental treatments
  • Patients undergoing a lengthy dental procedure

Benefits of nitrous oxide sedation

Nitrous oxide sedation works quickly to relax patients and ease any anxiety or discomfort during dental procedures. Our dental experts offer nitrous oxide sedation because it is a safe and effective method for both children and adults. However, please let our team know if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Medical history of respiratory illness, like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Women currently in their first trimester of pregnancy
  • History of substance abuse or mental health conditions
  • An enzyme deficiency

Nitrous oxide sedation is a way for patients to remain calm and feel less discomfort during dental treatments. Nitrous oxide can offer oral conscious sedation, so patients feel more at ease when at the dentist. You can worry less at your next appointment with sedation dentistry, so contact our team at Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA and learn about your options before your next appointment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.