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Nitrous Oxide And Its Use For Sedation Dentistry

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If you have a dental visit coming up and have some issues with fear and anxiety, then you can opt for sedation dentistry. And, nitrous oxide gas is one of the more common sedation methods available to you. If you want to know more about how the sedative works, keep reading.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling gas that is also colorless. It is an inhalant that is mixed with oxygen and provided through a small mask attached to the face. Nitrous oxide is considered a sedative, anesthetic, and an amnesiac, meaning the gas allows you to remain calm while also reducing your pain level and helping you forget the dental procedure being performed.

Nitrous oxide works directly on the brain, and since it is inhaled, it works extremely quickly to sedate you. Also, the effects of the gas wear off quickly meaning that sedation can be discontinued when it is no longer needed.

One unique aspect of nitrous oxide is the fact that it allows you to remain somewhat aware of your surroundings so you are able to respond to commands given by your dental professional. This is helpful in ensuring that your dental procedure is completed correctly with the direction of your dentist.

Keep in mind that while nitrous oxide is an anesthetic, you will still need local injections of lidocaine to numb the gum tissues. If the needles give you anxiety though, then you can be given the nitrous oxide gas before the injections are given to you.

What Are The Side Effects Of The Medication?

Like any other treatment completed with a sedative, you will need to arrange for transportation afterward. You are likely to feel fatigued afterward, but the anesthetic effects are only likely to last about five minutes once the gas is discontinued.

You will likely feel sleepy for several hours afterward and you may experience a headache. Headaches are common with inhaled anesthetics, and your dental professional will provide you with some oxygen after your procedure is over to minimize this issue.

Some individuals also experience some nausea and vomiting too. Vomiting can interfere with stitches and it can produce a significant amount of pain when the mouth is sore, so speak with your dentist about the consumption of small meals before your appointment and whether or not an antiemetic is needed.

If you want to know more about nitrous oxide and whether it is best used for your dental appointment, speak with a dental professional who specializes in sedation dentistry.