Our Grandville dentists are able to help patients feel comfortable and relaxed, even in the dentist’s chair. If you struggle with mild to moderate fear of the dentist, we recommend asking about nitrous oxide sedation.
Nitrous oxide sedation (also called inhalation sedation or laughing gas) is a sedative we use to help patients relax during procedures. Nitrous oxide is safe to use for both children and adults.
How Nitrous Oxide Works
Our family dentist will place a mask over your nose and ask you to breathe deeply. The mask supplies 100% oxygen through your nasal passages before nitrous oxide is gradually introduced. Compared to other sedation dentistry methods, laughing gas works quickly. It only takes 20 seconds for nitrous oxide to reach the brain and a few minutes for you to feel completely relaxed.
While you will still be conscious and able to cooperate with your dentist, you will feel very relaxed. Since nitrous oxide has amnesiac qualities, many patients are unable to even remember anything of their dental procedure. If you have dental fear that prevents you from seeking treatment for a toothache or scheduling your routine teeth cleaning, nitrous oxide can help you feel relaxed so you can get the dental care you need.
Laughing gas completely leaves the body within three minutes of stopping your supply, which means you are able to drive home safely. This makes nitrous oxide unique from all other sedatives for dental procedures, which require someone else to drive you home.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide in Dentistry
Nitrous oxide doesn’t require an injection like other forms of sedation dentistry. Instead the gas is breathed in through a special mask, which makes it perfect for patients who have a fear of needles. During the procedure, our Grandville family dentist is also able to alter your level of sedation.
While laughing gas can also be used as a mild painkiller for gum treatments, you may still need a local anesthesia to manage pain. After the procedure, the effects of nitrous oxide will quickly fade so you can drive yourself home.
Our dentists, Sarah Palmer DDS and Amy Harmon DDS always strive to help patients feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair so they can get the treatment they need. If you are interested in learning more about how we use nitrous oxide to relieve dental fear, give our dentists in Grandville a call at (616) 534-0080.