For many patients, a dentist’s appointment, even if it’s a routine cleaning, can be a nerve-wracking experience. The fear of going to visit the dentist is so great that people tend to avoid scheduling an appointment altogether; which can lead to a variety of oral hygiene issues.
Nitrous oxide sedation is one dental treatment option for patients who have a phobia of going to the dentist. Whether you’re having a procedure such as a filling or even a routine cleaning, using nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for your next dental appointment could alleviate associated tension.
What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
Nitrous oxide sedation is typically used for mild dental procedures where the patient is awake but relaxed. The gas is delivered through a mask that is placed over the patient’s nose, helping them to relax. The dentist controls the amount of gas the patient receives during the procedure.
Dentistry that uses nitrous oxide is often referred to as “sleep dentistry.” However, this is actually an inaccurate description of the procedure since the patients are typically awake, unless they choose to undergo general anaesthesia.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
When undergoing sedation, a dentist will typically offer varying degrees.
- Mild Sedation: The patient is awake but relaxed.
- Moderate Sedation: This degree of sedation was once known as “conscious sedation.” The patient may slur their words but they won’t remember much, or anything, about the procedure.
- Deep Sedation: The patient is on the edge of being unconscious but can still be awakened.
- General Anaesthesia: The patient is completely unconscious.
Regardless of the type of dental treatment / procedure being received, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area in the mouth that is being worked on, ensuring the patient is completely comfortable.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are different types of sedation dentistry available. These include:
- Oral Sedation: The dentist will give the patient medication that provides either mild or moderate sedation. Halcion and Valium are typically used for these procedures. Both make the patient drowsy but they are still awake. Patients that receive a stronger dose to moderately sedate them may even fall asleep.
- IV Sedation: This is another form of moderate sedation where the patient receives a sedative through an IV so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows a dentist to control the level of sedation.
- Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia: This process renders the patient either partially or completely unconscious. Using this method, the patient is not awakened until the effects of the medication have worn off.
Princeview Dental, a provider of sedation dentistry in Toronto, offers patients nitrous oxide sedation as well as general anaesthesia. Make your next dentist’s appointment less stressful when you visit us.
“Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist’s Chair?” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/sedation-dentistry-can-you-really-relax-in-the-dentists-chair