Many people suffer deep anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist and this prevents them from getting the pertinent dental care necessary to maintain proper oral hygiene. To offset these feelings of dental anxiety, many dentists have incorporated the use of nitrous oxide sedation in their practices. Here are a few frequently asked questions about nitrous oxide sedation in dentistry.
1. What type of sedative do you use?
We use either nitrous oxide sedation, oral medication or general anesthesia.
2. What is nitrous oxide?
The nitrous oxide used in most dental offices is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas. This combination is inhaled by the patient through a breathing tube and results in a calming effect for anxious patients.
3. How is nitrous oxide administered?
We strap a plastic breathing tube around your nose, and you simply need to breathe normally to inhale the nitrous oxide and oxygen combination.
4. Who should monitor conscious sedation?
Only experienced and licensed dentists or healthcare professionals, such as physicians and registered RNs, should monitor conscious sedation.
5. Who can benefit from nitrous oxide sedation?
Anyone who’s extremely anxious about getting dental work done can benefit from dental nitrous oxide sedation.
6. Does nitrous oxide sedation work for children as well as adults?
Yes, dental nitrous oxide can work equally well for children and adults. Results typically vary on an individual basis.
7. Are there any special instructions for nitrous oxide sedation?
The most important instruction is to try not to consume any food prior to undergoing nitrous oxide sedation because it can cause nausea or vomiting in some patients who have a weak gag reflex. You should also provide your dentist with a complete list of any medications and supplements you’re currently taking and inform them if you have problems breathing through your nose.
8. Will I remember anything after being sedated?
This is subjective. Some patients may experience mild amnesia or a sense of limited time having passed following the procedure and may not remember the events that occurred while they were sedated.
9. Who is ineligible to use sedation dentistry?
This is usually determined at the discretion of your dentist or general practitioner, but generally the following people should consult a medical professional before undergoing sedation dentistry:
- Patients who are pregnant
- Patients who have difficulty breathing through their noses
- Patients with the following medical conditions: obstructed bowel, obstructed middle ear, pneumothorax, sickle cell anemia, patients who’ve had detached retina surgery within the last three months, COPD, emphysema, and bronchitis
- Patients who’ve undergone Bleomycin chemotherapy within the past year
- Patients who are uncomfortable with wearing a nose piece.
10. Is sedation dentistry safe for me?
In general, yes, sedation dentistry is completely safe. However, if you have any of the above-mentioned pre-existing conditions, it’s absolutely crucial that you consult your dentist and healthcare professional before undergoing any form of sedation dentistry. They should be able to find a sound alternative method for your specific situation.
11. Does nitrous oxide affect my lungs or heart?
As long as you’re able to breathe fully and comfortably through your nose, there should be little to no side effects on your lungs or heart. Again, this is something that should be discussed with your dentist and healthcare professional beforehand.
12. Will I feel any pain during the procedure?
No, you won’t feel any pain throughout the procedure.
13. How safe is nitrous oxide sedation?
Nitrous oxide sedation is completely safe as long as you’re in optimal physical health.
14. What are the side effects of conscious sedation?
Possible side effects include giddiness, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, slurred speech, hallucinations (depending on the dosage), and relaxation.
15. What are the benefits of using nitrous oxide sedation?
Nitrous oxide sedation is highly beneficial for patients who suffer from severe general anxiety, dental phobia, or PTSD. It can help them feel more comfortable and at ease when they visit the dentist.
16. Can I eat before being sedated?
You should try not to eat anything or a very light meal before being sedated because one of the side effects is nausea and nitrous oxide sedation could cause vomiting.
Princeview Dental Group is an Etobicoke dental clinic that offers various sedation treatments for patients who feel the need to make them more comfortable for their dental treatments and care. Call today at (416)-231-4562 to setup a consultation how Dr. Mummery and her team can help with these types of treatments and techniques.