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Nitrous Oxide Sedation & Sedation Dentistry Shelby Township MI
Dental procedures have always been associated with a lot of stress and pain for patients. The first anesthesia was introduced by dentists in 1844 – sedation with nitrous oxide. Currently, pain and anxiety are significantly reduced due to the use of local anesthesia by injection, but the stress is still a significant component associated with dental treatment. This especially applies to procedures performed on children.
If fear of a dental chair and potential pain are the main reasons why you keep postponing essential dental treatment, you can stop now! At Great Lakes Dentistry, our wide assortment of services also includes relaxing and calming nitrous oxide sedation that prompts better treatment outcomes and your exceptional comfort. It consists of giving the patient a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide for breathing in variable, controlled proportions.
What is nitrous oxide sedation?
Nitrous oxide is a colorless inorganic gas, typically without odor, or has a sweet-smelling aroma. Because of its properties, nitrous oxide is often referred to as laughing gas.
Inhalation sedation using a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is one of the most effective methods available to sedate patients in dentistry and other areas of interventional medicine. This method is widely accepted and enthusiastically received by patients who are afraid of dental visits.
We can say with confidence that nitrous oxide is the oldest anesthetic known in medicine and is still used today all over the world due to its effectiveness, non-toxicity, easy administration, and quick elimination from the patient’s body.
In the dental office, sedation is used to calm the patient down, which allows us to implement local anesthesia with ease and perform a painless treatment.
Some of the contraindications to nitrous oxide sedation include:
- Common cold
- Tonsil hypertrophy – obstruction of the upper respiratory tract
- The first trimester of pregnancy
- Some mental disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Lack of patient’s cooperation
It should also be noted that sedation with nitrous oxide, as the method of choice, is used in asthma, epilepsy, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and hemophilia.
The course of the treatment with nitrous oxide sedation
To prepare for the treatment, we advise patients to avoid eating two hours before the procedure. It is also recommended that patients plan their transportation and possible child-care along with other arrangements after the procedure.
Before starting the treatment, you will be given a nasal mask to breathe in a mixture of gases. A pulse oximeter is put on your finger to measure the blood oxygen saturation. The nitrous oxide sedation begins with the administration of pure oxygen for breathing. Gradually, the concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O) in the gas mixture administered to you increases. You may experience tingling in the fingers, mouth, and chest. As nitrous oxide starts to work, you will feel drowsy and slightly dull, similar to alcohol intoxication. There may be euphoria, a feeling of flying, drifting like dreams. Depending on the type of procedure, Dr. Van de Vyver typically applies local anesthesia.
Under nitrous oxide sedation, you are continuously conscious and aware, cooperating, and keeping in touch with the doctor and staff. Throughout the entire treatment, the patient breathes the administered mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide through a nasal mask.
After the dental treatment is completed, nitrous oxide is no longer injected into the breathing apparatus, and you are inhaling pure oxygen for a while. Nitrous oxide is removed from your body at 95% during that time. You may experience partial or complete amnesia related to your office visit.
Nitrous oxide is a very safe and effective method of sedation for most patients. If used appropriately, it can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and pain associated with dental procedures. At Great Lakes Dentistry, we care about your overall wellbeing and comfort. Stop postponing treatments essential for your oral health, as those can contribute to further complications and severe dental damage.