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5 Reasons to Get Nitrous Oxide During Your Dental Procedure

Are you feeling nervous or apprehensive about an upcoming dental procedure? Even a seemingly routine procedure like having a tooth removed or a crown put in place may cause anxiety and stress. You can deal with this anxiety in many ways, from deep-breathing techniques to IV sedatives.

In many cases, however, your best option is to ask your dentist to administer nitrous oxide - also known as laughing gas - during your dental procedure. 

There are many good reasons to use nitrous oxide sedation during your next dental procedure. Here are a few of them.

1. Nitrous Oxide Has a Long History of Safety

Nitrous oxide is not a new or experimental drug by any means. It was discovered in the late 1700s, and by 1844, doctors were using it as an anesthetic. In the 1930s, doctors often gave it to women during childbirth to alleviate their pain and keep them calm. It has been a mainstay of the dental profession for decades.

Over the years, nitrous oxide has been formally studied and found to be safe so long as it is properly mixed with oxygen as the patient breathes it in. Indeed, this is how dentists today administer nitrous oxide. 

2. Nitrous Oxide Promotes a Good Dental Experience

Is your dental anxiety tied to a bad prior experience in the dental chair? Using nitrous oxide during your next dental procedure essentially guarantees a better experience, which may help you get over your fear of the dentist.

When you inhale the gas, you start to feel tingly, lightheaded, and relaxed. You won't care as much about what the dentist is doing in your mouth. After your procedure, you'll look back on the experience either positively or neutrally, rather than reliving the anxiety.

3. Nitrous Oxide Wears off Quickly

With other forms of sedation, like IV and oral sedation, you generally need to find someone to drive you home since the sedative remains effective for hours after your appointment. Oral sedatives, for instance, are effective for up to six hours and cause drowsiness that makes it unsafe to drive.

Nitrous oxide wears off just a few minutes after you stop inhaling the gas. Your dentist will have you breathe in plain oxygen for a few minutes after your procedure; this action helps flush the nitrous oxide from your system even faster. You'll feel completely clearheaded and be able to drive home safely.

4. Nitrous Oxide Does Not Involve Needles or Pills

Many people who are nervous to see the dentist are also anxious about the idea of IVs and injections. Some find it tough to swallow pills. Since nitrous oxide is inhaled through a comfortable mask that fits right over your nose, it works well for patients with needle and pill phobias. Your dentist will even adjust the mask to fit your unique face comfortably.

5. Nitrous Oxide Leaves You Conscious

Inhaling nitrous oxide during your dental appointment is not the same as being put under general anesthesia. Although you will feel relaxed and even giddy, you will remain conscious. So you will be able to answer your dentist's questions and ask your own questions during the procedure.

If the idea of being completely put under makes you uncomfortable, nitrous oxide is an approachable alternative. The most involved dental surgeries must be performed under anesthesia, but routine procedures like wisdom tooth extraction, implant placement, and gum reduction surgery can all be performed with nitrous oxide if that is what you prefer.

If you are feeling nervous about an upcoming dental appointment and want to ensure a safe, positive, painless experience, ask your dentist about nitrous oxide. Get in touch with Ackley Dental Group if you are looking for a dentist who offers nitrous oxide sedation. 


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