What To Know About Using Nitrous Oxide At The Dentist

It is very common to use nitrous oxide as a form of dental sedation. Not only is it incredibly safe to use for a dental procedure, but it has very few side effects. Here is what you should know about dental sedation before using it at your next appointment.

You Have Choices

Nitrous oxide is not a sedation method where one set of equipment works for everyone. You'll need to be fitted with a breathing hood that fits over your nose, which involves trying on several kinds until you find the right fit that will be comfortable during the procedure. Some dentists will even allow you to pick the scent of the nitrous oxide so that it is something that is pleasant to you.

Your Vitals Will Be Monitored

A dentist will not use dental sedation and simply hope for the best results. They will monitor your vital signs while you are under. Expect a special sensor to be placed on your finger that measures your heart rate and oxygen saturation levels. This sensor is very precise and allows the staff to know your current health conditions while using the sedation.

You Won't Breathe Nitrous Oxide Right Away

Many people wrongfully assume that the dentist turns on the gas and you start breathing it in immediately. The dentist will start by having pure oxygen flow through the breathing hood so that you can adjust to the sensation of using the equipment. This will be done for a few minutes before the dentist starts adding nitrous oxide. 

Nitrous oxide is slowly added in increments until it starts to take effect. The dentist will let the nitrous oxide work for about a minute before deciding if more nitrous oxide is necessary. Adults tend to require more nitrous oxide than children.

You'll Still Receive A Local Anesthetic 

Even though you'll be sedated thanks to the nitrous oxide, you'll still be given a local anesthetic for your dental procedure. The nitrous oxide helps reduce anxiety and not pain, which is why a dentist must numb the area where the dental procedure is being performed. 

You Won't Experience Many Side Effects

The great thing about using nitrous oxide is the few side effects of using the form of sedation. Once the nitrous oxide is turned off, the effects of the gas will also wear off right away. This allows dental patients that use nitrous oxide to drive themselves home without anyone's assistance.

Contact your dentist to learn more about sedation dentistry.