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Facts About Nitrous Sedation

 

Sedation Dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures.

Dentistry has been around for over 100 years, and has continued to evolve over the last 40 years as more options are made available to patients. In order to perform sedation, dentists are required to become accredited and complete additional training. However, its widespread acceptance and use has come about more slowly than medical sedation.

While it is common practice to be sedated by doctors for medical procedures, for some time there has been the misconception that routine dental work is not uncomfortable enough to justify the use of sedation. Fortunately, dental sedation is now used worldwide. It has proven to be a safe and effective option for a variety of patients and procedures.

Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require sedation.

Experience the following sensations:

  • Tingling of your hands and feet
  • Warmth
  • Numbness in your legs
  • Numbness of your hands, feet, tongue and other soft tissues of your mouth
  • A ringing sensation or droning sound; hearing may become distant, but more distinct
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Feelings of heaviness or lightness in your extremities

Some reasons for avoiding the dentist include:

  • Fear of needles, drills, or other dental instruments
  • Past traumatic dental experiences
  • Sensitive teeth and/or difficulty getting numb
  • Discomfort with the smells, noises, and tastes that accompany dental work

Benefits of nitrous oxide:

  1. It’s effective for mild to moderate anxiety
  2. Proven safety record
  3. Offers an analgesic (pain relieving) effect
  4. It’s quick-acting, with few side effects
  5. You don’t need someone to escort you to and from the office
  6. You can return to normal activities immediately
  7. In many cases, you can get ALL of your dental work done in one visit

What can you do if you are unhappy with the answers or you don’t feel that this is the right doctor for your child? Ask your dentist or the hospital to make arrangements for another doctor. Be sure to meet with this person ahead of time, too.

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