Nitrous Oxide - For a More Relaxing Dental Visit
Imagine going to the dentist and feeling safe, warm and comfortable receiving dental care—without fear. It is possible, and for some it may be accomplished with nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is also known as inhalation sedation, laughing gas, nitrous, happy gas, and N2O-O2.
Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas which serves as a relaxant and is most commonly used in addition to local anesthesia (numbing medicine). It is administered via a mask placed directly over the nose while the patient breathes normally. It does not put the patient to sleep—you will still be able to hear and respond to your dentist. The gas is completely broken down by the body before the patient is discharged. With very few side effects, nitrous oxide gas is considered to be extremely safe to use in the amounts administered by dentists. While the experience will vary, most patients will enjoy a more relaxing dental visit—dental care without much of the anxiety often associated with procedures in the mouth.
What is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a real condition that can range from mild to severe, affecting women and men, young and mature individuals alike. It is fear of going to the dentist, receiving dental care, and dentistry in general. The fears may be of pain, helplessness, or loss of control. It may be due to a previous personal experience, knowledge of someone else’s unpleasant experience, or the negative portrayal of dentists in mass media.
Fortunately, it does not have to prevent one from obtaining dental care. Nitrous oxide is one of several approaches specifically designed to help make the dental appointment more pleasant.