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Why Nitrous Sedation Dentistry Might Be Right for You

Why Nitrous Sedation Dentistry Might Be Right for You

Does the thought of an upcoming dental appointment leave you feeling jittery? Researchers estimate that nearly 36% of Americans experience some level of dental anxiety, and for some, dental anxiety can prevent them from getting the dental care they need.

Thankfully, sedation dentistry can help you relax so that you can receive the care you need with ease. Dr. Lovely Manlapaz Teodoro offers nitrous sedation in our Hercules, California, office. 

What is nitrous sedation dentistry?

There are many forms of sedation, including nitrous sedation. This is a form of dental sedation that relies on nitrous oxide (N20) to help you relax. Nitrous oxide, more often referred to as laughing gas, is an effective and safe sedation agent that you inhale through a mask. The mask fits comfortably over your nose, and as you breathe, you inhale a mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide. 

What does it feel like?

Despite the name, you won’t find yourself giggling through your appointment. Nitrous oxide works by slowing down your nervous system. This means you’ll start to feel relaxed within minutes. You may notice a tingling/warming sensation in your arms and legs. You may even describe your legs and arms as feeling heavy. These are all normal experiences. 

Overall, you should feel relaxed, comfortable, and calm. The effects will continue until the mask is removed. When your procedure is over, you’ll breathe oxygen through the mask. This helps clear any remaining N20 from your lungs and helps prevent any headaches from the laughing gas.  

Nitrous oxide isn’t a replacement for your local anesthetic. Laughing gas relaxes you, while the local anesthetic blocks pain signals. Together, these two keep you pain free and relaxed.

5 reasons nitrous sedation is right for you

Nitrous sedation dentistry may be right for you if:

  1. You need a little boost overcoming dental anxiety
  2. You need a more extensive procedure (like a root canal)
  3. You have a busy day and would like to drive yourself home after your appointment 
  4. Your child is nervous about a dental procedure, such as a filling or extraction
  5. You have a strong gag reflex that can interfere with procedures 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry affirms that nitrous oxide is a safe and effective option for children. Whether you (or your child) are undergoing a cleaning, extraction, filling, or root canal, nitrous sedation dentistry can ensure your comfort and peace of mind.

What if nitrous sedation isn’t enough?

Even though nitrous sedation is convenient (and doesn’t require someone else to drive you home), there may be times in which nitrous sedation isn’t enough. For example, if you have more intense dental anxiety or are planning a more complex procedure (like dental implants), you may benefit from a stronger form of sedation, such as conscious sedation (in which you take a pill before your procedure) or IV sedation (in which you received medication through an IV). 

If you’d like to explore the benefits of sedation dentistry (and find out which one is right for you),  call our Hercules, California practice at 510-254-3328. Alternatively, request an appointment online with our easy-to-use booking tool.

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