It goes without saying that for most people, visiting the dentist isn’t exactly their favorite thing. In fact, just the idea of it makes some people completely terrified. This kind of fear has a name, dental phobia, and it causes millions of Americans to miss out on much needed dental care every year, leading them to develop serious problems that could have easily been prevented. If you or your child feel really anxious about dental care, sedation dentistry can help change all that. With it, we can calm those racing thoughts, make nerves melt away, and help appointments glide by on a carpet of relaxation. Sounds pretty nice, right? This kind of experience is available right here in Garland at Dentistry By Brand, and you can learn more by calling us today.
For over a century, dentists have been soothing their patients’ dental fears with nitrous oxide (which is often referred to as laughing gas). It is the lightest form of dental sedation; while you’re under its effects, you will be conscious and able to communicate with our team, but you will also feel relaxed and happy. It’s suitable for both children and adults, so don’t hesitate to let us know if anyone in your family is interested in receiving nitrous oxide the next time they visit our office.
Do you find yourself feeling mildly anxious or afraid whenever you step into a dental office? Is it often hard for you to sit still while your mouth is being treated? Does dental work sometimes make you gag? Are your gums not easily numbed when a local anesthetic is used?
If you found yourself answering “yes” to one or more of the questions listed above, then nitrous oxide is potentially a great choice for you. Of course, it’s not a perfect fit for everyone. Pregnant women shouldn’t have it administered because it might affect the fetus. Also, it’s not recommended to have nitrous oxide sedation performed if you have any health issues related to breathing.
Nitrous oxide sedation is so simple that you generally don’t need to do anything special to prepare for it. At most, we may ask you to refrain from eating anything too heavy for a couple of hours before your appointment. This is because people who receive nitrous oxide while their stomachs are full sometimes experience nausea.
After you arrive at our office and get settled in the dental chair, we’ll give you a mask to be placed over your nose. The mask will be attached to a special machine; once we turn the machine on, you’ll start inhaling the nitrous oxide (which will be mixed with oxygen). The sedative will keep you calm and comfortable during your treatment. We will be able to adjust the flow of the nitrous oxide at any time if we need to.
At the end of your treatment, we will remove the nasal mask. You’ll then need to wait in our office for a few minutes to give the effects of the nitrous oxide a chance to dissipate. We’ll keep a close eye on you to make sure that everything’s okay.
Once you feel normal again, you’ll be ready to leave our office. At that point, you can simply return to work or school to carry on with the rest of your day; you won’t have to worry about getting someone else to take you home. (Note that this is only regarding the effects of the nitrous oxide. If you had some type of invasive treatment done, you may need to plan on resting at home for a while.)
If you’re like the millions of people who suffer from dental anxiety that stands in the way of getting oral healthcare, sedation dentistry can make a massive difference in how you feel at your appointment. At Dentistry by Brand, we’re experts at making use of sedatives that can put our patients completely at ease.
If you want to know more about how sedation dentistry can make a difference in your life, here are answers to some of the most common questions people have about it.
At Dentistry by Brand, we use nitrous oxide—laughing gas—in sedation dentistry, which has been safely and effectively used for years. Your vitals will be monitored during treatment and the flow of laughing gas can be controlled easily by your dentist for the duration of the procedure. This means that we can ensure that the dosage is no more or less than what’s needed to keep you comfortable.
All this to say that sedation you receive from us is going to be completely safe. While sedatives aren’t a good pick for some people, we’ll discuss your medical history before beginning the treatment to determine if it’s the right choice for you.
Patients who haven’t experienced sedation dentistry before may wonder how it’s likely to affect them, and particularly whether it will make them nauseous during or after the treatment. While some sedatives have this feature, it’s incredibly infrequent when it comes to nitrous oxide.
While it is technically possible to experience some nausea as a result of laughing gas, especially the longer treatment goes on, we’ll be watching the flow of sedatives carefully to reduce the likelihood of you reaching that point. We can also give you anti-nausea medication if you’re concerned about it.
The amount of time that dental sedation lasts depends on the style of sedation you’re receiving. Nitrous oxide wears off as quickly as it sets in—the effects tend to fade within minutes of the flow of gas stopping.
Unlike heavier sedative options, you’ll be able to go about the rest of your day normally after a treatment using nitrous oxide. That said, you should still plan to have someone pick you up from your appointment afterward just in case.
When many people think of sedatives, they think of general anesthesia. While this is used very occasionally in dentistry, weaker sedatives are considerably more common. For the most part, dental sedatives aim to put you at ease but keep you conscious enough to still follow our instructions.
That said, people’s memories are often fuzzy when the sedative wears off, so it’s common to feel like you may have fallen asleep, even if you didn’t.