Do you know that you need dental work done, but the thought of calling a dentist makes your heart race and your palms sweat? If this is the case, then you’re far from alone. In fact, nearly 60% of people have some form of anxiety when it comes to seeking dental care. Because this problem is so widespread, we at Denton Dental Center have a solution known as nitrous oxide. Our very own Dr. Todd Balington is a certified sedation dentist in Denton who can help you feel at peace in the dental chair. Whether you’re just nervous about attending your first checkup in a while or you need extensive work done in one appointment, nitrous oxide sedation can help. Give us a call today to learn more!
Better known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is an odorless, colorless gas that has been used for more than a century to calm anxious dental patients. This gas is inhaled through a tiny mask we place over your nose. Compared to other sedatives, Dr. Balington has greater control over the amount of nitrous oxide that he can administer. During your procedure, he can adjust the dosage if need be.
Contrary to what you might have heard, you won’t actually be “put to sleep” with nitrous oxide. Rather, you’ll reach a level of such deep relaxation that you may doze off, but our team will easily be able to wake you. For the most part, you’ll still be conscious enough to respond to our request during the procedure, but chances are you’ll remember little, if any, of what happened while you were sedated.
Once you start inhaling the gas, it should take effect within minutes. Waves of relaxation should wash over you, allowing you to easily receive the care you need. Many of our patients report feeling a little light-headed or a slight tingling in their arms and legs. Overall, you’ll feel comfortable and calm enough to truly relax in the dental chair.
Nitrous oxide may be right for you if you have an upcoming dental appointment that you’re even the slightest bit nervous about. We generally recommend nitrous oxide for patients with:
Patients who are pregnant or have high blood pressure are generally not good candidates for nitrous oxide sedation. In addition, certain medications or medical conditions can result in adverse complications, so talk to your dentist in Denton about your medical history before receiving nitrous oxide.
The great news about nitrous oxide is that its effects begin to wear off almost immediately after we remove the mask from your nose. After your procedure is finished, we’ll take you to the waiting room and allow you to sit while the nitrous oxide leaves your system. In most cases, this takes half an hour or less. Nitrous oxide shouldn’t produce any lingering side effects like drowsiness; in fact, you should be alert enough to drive yourself back to work or home after your appointment and resume your day as normal.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, nitrous oxide is the perfect way for your sedation dentist in Denton to make that problem a thing of the past. With it, you can finally get the dental work that you’ve been putting off due to fear. However, you may have some questions you want answered before you go through with this treatment. That’s why we’ve taken the time to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about nitrous oxide sedation below.
Within a few seconds of breathing in the nitrous oxide, you’ll begin to feel waves of pleasant euphoria washing over you. Some patients report feeling warm, while others say they experience a tingling sensation in their extremities. This is completely normal. If you feel any kind of negative side effect, like nausea or a headache, be sure to let our team know and we can lower the dosage if need be.
When administered by a trained dentist in Denton, like Dr. Balington, nitrous oxide is perfectly safe for the vast majority of patients. The sedative is made of a mixture of about 70% oxygen and 30% nitrogen. Depending on your reaction to the sedative, this ratio can be altered accordingly. Throughout the duration of your procedure, a member of our dental team will be keeping a close eye on your vitals to ensure you’re safe. They can adjust the nitrous oxide dosage accordingly.
Nitrous oxide is great for easing anxiety in patients who have a low pain tolerance. Although it’s not exactly the same thing as a local anesthetic, nitrous oxide mutes the senses so that you’re not nervous or overwhelmed while in the dental chair. It can also suppress your senses of touch and hearing, as well as your gag reflex. After your sedation has been administered, we often use a local anesthetic too, depending on the severity of your procedure.
If your child has dental anxiety, special needs, or a hard time sitting still in the dental chair, you might eb wondering whether nitrous oxide would be good for them. Rest assured that nitrous oxide is 100% safe for kids. It can help your child calm down and relax before undergoing dental work they need to ensure their smile develops in a healthy way. If your son or daughter is nervous about visiting the dentist, ask our team if nitrous oxide could benefit them.