Nitrous OxideAnchorage, AK
Patients looking for a method to help them relax during a dental procedure or appointment may find a solution in nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as "laughing gas," is a sedation dentistry technique used by dentists to relieve dental anxiety in patients. It is a safe and effective way to help patients relax and remain comfortable during dental procedures.
Nitrous oxide is convenient and easy to administer to patients through an oxygen mask or nose piece. While this helps the patient relax, they will not be asleep during the procedure. Dr. Rex Malcom or Dr. Phillip J. Klump will determine if you are a candidate for dental sedation through nitrous oxide during a consultation.
Call Alaska Advanced Dentistry at 907-290-8870 to schedule an appointment and learn more today.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide
The administration of nitrous oxide is easy and straightforward. The patient inhales the gas via a breathing mask, so there is no need for oral medication, injection, IV, or other invasive measures. The gas is tasteless and odorless, so receiving it is pleasant and should not cause nausea in patients.
The effect of nitrous gas wears off quickly. Since it is in a gaseous state, once delivery stops, the patient will return their normal condition within a few seconds. Unless the gas is used together with other sedation or pain management options, patients should be able to drive themselves after the treatment.
Nitrous oxide is safe and usable for patients of all age groups, including children. Children with dental anxiety or need to undergo an extensive dental procedure may require nitrous oxide. We will monitor the patient and their condition during the process, ensuring the proper amount of gas.
How Nitrous Oxide Works
The dentist will encourage the patient to stay calm and sit comfortably in the dental chair to begin the process. We will place a mask over the patient’s nose. Once the dentist turns on the gas, the effects are almost instant. The patient may perceive a faint, pleasant aroma before slipping into a relaxed state. Since the gas may induce a feeling of euphoria or giddiness in patients, nitrous oxide is often called “laughing gas.”
Sometimes, the patient may become so relaxed that they sleep during the procedure, but not so deep so they can be woken up easily after the delivery of the gas stops. Patients often describe a dreamy feeling with tingly arms and legs. Nitrous oxide is an option to consider for patients who are worried about the sounds, sights, and sensation of dental procedures. It raises the pain threshold, and time passes faster during treatment. Patients often confuse nitrous oxide and sedation dentistry options with pain management options.
Although the dentist may use the gas with a local anesthetic, it does not exactly alleviate pain. Instead, this sedation dentistry procedure induces relaxation and alters how the patient perceives pain so that the dentist can perform the procedure faster, efficiently with minimal resistance. This is particularly good for major dental treatments, oral surgeries, or severe dental fear or anxiety.
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After the procedure, the dentist will observe the patient for some time. Most patients do not experience any adverse side effects from the use of nitrous oxide. In rare cases of side effects, it could be due to a high level of nitrogen or a drastic change to the level of nitrous oxide. The side effects include headache, fatigue, nausea, shivering, or vomiting.
The child will recover quickly, but if they feel sick, giving them some water or clear liquids, such as icy poles or diluted fruit juice might help them feel better. After administering a local anesthetic, the patient needs to be careful not to bite their lips or cheek until the numbness wears off.
Call Us Today
Patients with dental anxiety can now undergo treatment easily, fast, and comfortably with nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a safe sedation dentistry option in the dental office. If you are skeptical about a dental procedure or afraid of going to the dental office, call us at 907-290-8870 and talk to our team to know if laughing gas might be the right choice for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How safe is Nitrous oxide?
While nitrous oxide can be used for both adults and children, it is crucial to determine if the patient is a candidate for nitrous oxide or not. This will involve our team reviewing your medical history, current condition, and other factors. Almost all patients tolerate it well. The effects kick in rapidly, it is reversible, and the concentration level can be adjusted depending on the patient.
How does one prepare for an appointment?
We will advise parents or patients to avoid eating two hours before the procedure because a full stomach may cause nausea or vomiting. Patients will need to inform the dental professional of any medication they are taking or if they have any condition that makes nasal breathing difficult. A stuffy nose or other respiratory disorders can limit the effects of laughing gas.
With nitrous oxide cause laughter?
Some patients experience intense excitement and happiness after getting the gas, which is why it is also known as laughing gas. However, it is more likely to make a child calmer than make them laugh.
What is the minimum age requirement for nitrous gas?
Nitrous oxide is safe for use in children age two and above. The dentist will continue to monitor the child throughout and after the procedure to prevent adverse reactions.
What are the contraindications of nitrous oxide?
Like any medical procedure, nitrous oxide is not suitable for everyone. Patients who are pregnant, have breathing disorders, a history of COPD, and drug abuse may not be eligible for the procedure.
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