Calming Fears and Reducing Anxiety During Dental Procedures
Having a little anxiety before a dentist appointment is not uncommon, but some people have a lifelong fear of visiting the dentist. Sometimes the fear is so severe that it interferes with getting the dental care that they need to maintain good oral health. Conscious sedation with the use of nitrous oxide (N2O) can make a trip to the dentist stress-free.
At R+R Dental, in Hicksville, Dr. Richer and Dr. Rivera want every patient to feel calm and comfortable during any procedure, that’s why they offer conscious sedation to any patient that would benefit from its use.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
N2O is a colorless gas that is non-irritating and has a slightly sweet odor. With a mixture of between 50 and 70 percent oxygen and no less than 30 percent of N2O, the patient can safely breathe in the gas and remain worry-free.
N2O allows patients to stay awake during a procedure, stay in control of all bodily functions, and the gas wears off quickly after the procedure.
How is Nitrous Oxide Administered?
You inhale the N2O gas through a small mask that fits comfortably over your nose. Within a few minutes, you’ll start to feel more relaxed and may even experience a floating sensation. You may have some tingling in your hands, feet, and legs; this is normal.
Your dentist won’t proceed with the procedure until he or she has determined that you are relaxed, comfortable, and have the right amount of N2O. If your dentist needs to administer a local anesthetic to perform a filling or another procedure, you won’t feel the pain and your anxiety about the dental procedure is gone.
When the procedure is over, the flow of N2O is done and you will continue to breathe in oxygen. After a short period, you can sit up, walk around, and resume regular activities. Some patients fall asleep during their procedure or don’t remember much of what happened. Others feel like they had a few cocktails. These feelings are normal and will subside quickly.
Is Nitrous Oxide Bad for You?
If N2O were dangerous, we wouldn’t use it at R+R Dental. For years, N2O had negative associations and was often called “Laughing Gas.” While the N2O may make you laugh a bit, it’s your body’s natural response to feeling relaxed.
When N2O is administered, it is closely monitored to ensure the amount is right for you. It’s safe for most patients but if you have a history of pulmonary issues, are pregnant, or take certain prescription drugs, it may not be completely safe. Don’t worry; we will make sure that N2O is the best and safest choice for your dental procedure.
Am I A Good Candidate for N2O?
Have you avoided going to the dentist for years out of fear? Do you have dental problems that need to be fixed but you’re too anxious to make an appointment? If the thought of visiting the dentist’s office makes you sweat and your heart race, you are an ideal candidate for N2O.
N2O can help patients realize that there is nothing to fear, may help them improve their oral health, and even schedule regular check-ups or visits. If you are unsure if N2O is right for you, ask your dentist and discuss your options.
What Are the Advantages of Nitrous Oxide?
Other than eliminating anxiety, N2O has other advantages that make a visit to the dentist a more positive experience. Even though some patients feel as if they’ve had a few alcoholic beverages, there are no “hangovers.”
Conscious sedation with N2O can be altered at any time during the procedure for maximum comfort, and it has no negative side effects on your heart, lungs, or other organs. N2O works quickly, so there’s little time to worry about your procedure.
Can I Request N2O During Every Visit?
If you are healthy enough to tolerate N2O and your dentist permits it, you should be about to request N2O during each dental visit. At R+R Dental, we want our patients to feel confident and comfortable when they visit us. We also want every patient to have a healthy routine that includes scheduling appointments for frequents checkups and cleanings.
Over time, you may find that your anxiety about visiting the dentist disappears and you may not need N2O. Even if your anxiety never goes away, we want to help you have the best experience possible and will be there with you every step of the way.