Dental anxiety or phobia is said to effect up to 75% of the population in one way or another. At Summerlea Dental we have a commitment to provide a great experience to all of our patients. Patients have dental fears for various reasons. We find for the majority of patients that a little bit of extra TLC and patience is all it takes to alleviate this stress. For other patients sedation is the best approach to reducing anxiety and fear.
At Summerlea Dental we offer both Oral Sedation and Nitrous Sedation and a combination of both. We also refer patients to receive both IV sedation and general anesthetic if necessary.
What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
Nitrous Oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) is a sweet smelling gas that has both an analgesic (pain relieving) and anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) effect when inhaled as a mixture with Oxygen. Nitrous Oxide enters and leaves the body unchanged and therefore has a rapid onset and rapid recovery time. This also allows the operator to control the level of effect throughout the procedure. Nitrous oxide and oxygen are delivered to the patient through a tight fitting nose mask.
Who is Nitrous Oxide Sedation for?
Nitrous Oxide sedation has a range of uses in the dental offices. Some patients only fear the dental injection (needle) and we only use sedation for this stage of treatment. Other patients feel anxiety during the entire procedure and this can be heightened by the drill noise and such. Nitrous Oxide sedation can also help patients with a lower pain tolerance.
Nitrous Oxide sedation can be particularly useful in children’s dental care. Many children are afraid of needles and dental treatment. Nitrous Oxide sedation can be administered to keep a child from panicking during the procedure. It may also completely eliminate the need for anesthetic.
Who can not take Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
You must discuss this with your dentist as everybody has their own unique medical history. In general, Nitrous Oxide sedation can be safely administered on most of the population. As a rule of thumb, we do not provide sedation for children under 5 years old. We also do not use on pregnant women (nursing is fine). Other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes must be discussed on a case by case basis. You must be able to breath through your nose to receive nitrous oxide sedation.
How long until I recover from the sedation? Can I drive home after?
Once the Nitrous Oxide gas is turned off, the patient is breathing 100% Oxygen. It only takes a few seconds for the effects to fade. We keep you on 100% Oxygen for 3-5 minutes just to be safe. This also helps prevent possible headaches afterwards. As long as you feel fine you are free to leave unattended and drive as well.