If the idea of stepping into your dentist’s office makes you tense up with fear, you’re not alone. Statistics show that around 36% of Americans struggle with a fear of dental treatment, and about 12% have an extreme fear. The good news is that dental sedation offers several safe options for patients with dental anxiety. One of the most popular choices includes nitrous oxide in Midlothian.
What Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation and How Does It Work?
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, helps reduce pain and anxiety during dental procedures. The dentist combines this odorless and colorless gas with oxygen through a small nosepiece or a mask placed over the nose.
A few minutes after instructing you to breathe like you normally would, you may feel lightheaded or experience a tingling sensation in your arms and legs. However, you’ll remain conscious throughout your procedure. Since the sedative won’t knock you out, you’ll be able to hear your dentist and respond to their instructions.
Moreover, the dental team will monitor your vital signs and comfort level and will make adjustments accordingly to keep you calm and relaxed. It’s worth noting that, unlike other sedation dentistry options, the effects of nitrous oxide sedation wear off within minutes after removing the mask. For this reason, you can drive yourself home safely after your appointment.
Is It a Safe Choice?
Nitrous oxide combined with oxygen delivered through a mask or a nosepiece provides safe and effective pain relief for patients, including children with dental anxiety. Furthermore, it’s important to note that nitrous oxide systems limit delivery to a maximum of 70% nitrous oxide and 30% oxygen to ensure that the patient inhales around 9% more oxygen than what’s available in the air.
Moreover, nitrous oxide delivery systems have at least 12 audio and visual safety features that help prevent adverse effects during administration. If these safety features should fail, your dental care provider can quickly remove the mask to help you breathe room air.