Nitrous Oxide & Adult Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70 percent oxygen with no less than 30 percent nitrous oxide. It is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled. The patient is able to breathe on his or her own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using nitrous oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a “hangover”
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart or lungs
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging
  • It works rapidly reaching the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as two to three minutes, its relaxation and pain-killing properties develop.

Reasons Not To Use Nitrous Oxide

Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, but your doctor may not want to use it if you have emphysema, chest problems, multiple sclerosis, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing, or you are pregnant.

Nitrous Oxide combined with Oral Sedatives

Many of us become fearful or anxious while visiting the dentist. Newer generation oral medications have been developed to help us alleviate a patient’s fears. The treatment objective of the dentist is to provide profound local anesthetic to the area requiring dental treatment. For many of us, just the thought of the injection makes our visit traumatic.

Children’s Dental Center and Big People Too! can provide you with sedation medication that when combined with Nitrous Oxide should dramatically reduce your tension and anxiety. This allows for comfortable delivery of local anesthetics, and provides a more comfortable overall dental experience. Just ask your doctor at the time of your exam, about nitrous oxide combined with Oral Sedatives.

General Anesthesia

There remain patients who may require general anesthesia to complete their dental treatment. General Anesthesia is administered in our office by either a dental anesthesiologist or by a physician anesthesiologist. General Anesthesia is a controlled state of depressed consciousness or unconsciousness produced by the medication selected for you by the anesthesiologist. General Anesthesia is more commonly used for young children. Few adult patients require General Anesthesia for dental treatment, and is usually reserved for those adults that may have physical or emotional disabilities that limit the patient’s ability to cooperate with the dental team during treatment.