About Nitrous Oxide Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide is an extremely gentle form of sedation that has been used for well over 100 years. A patient simply breathes in the colorless, odorless gas, and after a few minutes, a warm blanket of mental and physical relaxation will envelope them. It’s an excellent option for someone who just needs a little help during their dental visits. Once a procedure is over and the mask is removed, its effects wear off almost instantly, enabling a patient to immediately go back to their day.
You may have heard about certain sedation techniques used in dental offices in the past, including “laughing gas,” as nitrous oxide is often called. If you’re feeling uncertain about this method of sedation or you simply want to learn more, Dr. Hamlet and Dr. La Mastra are always here to help. Those who only need a little push when it comes to their dental appointments can reap significant benefits with this incredibly gentle, yet effective form of commonly utilized sedation dentistry. Give us a call to see if nitrous oxide is right for you!
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a safe and incredibly common sedative designed to help you keep calm throughout your dental treatments. While it contains nitrous, it also contains a steady stream of oxygen, which provides additional aid in helping you stay calm during your appointment. It is the mildest form of sedation dentistry that we offer and is ideal for those who experience mild anxiety or nervousness during dentistry services.
What are the Benefits of Nitrous Oxide?
There are many benefits to consider when using nitrous oxide. For example, if you have mild anxiety or experience nervousness during your appointments, nitrous oxide works to keep you calm without having to manage the side effects that often accompany stronger forms of sedation (i.e. oral conscious or IV sedation.)
Additionally, nitrous oxide is perfect for patients with a variety of concerns that aren’t related to anxiety. This includes those with:
- A sensitive gag reflex
- A low pain tolerance
- Many dental treatments to complete in one appointment
- Mental or physical impairments that make dental treatments difficult
Does nitrous oxide sedation sound like an option for your next appointment? Have a family member who could benefit from a relaxing sedative, especially if they have anxiety or feel nervous prior to their dental treatments? Give our office a call today!
"Dr. La Mastra is super cool and amazing, especially for someone who has dental phobia like me. I've been with him for years and followed him to his new place recently. He did my implant and crown which was a great experience. Dr. La Mastra is caring and I feel relaxed when he enters the room. The entire staff is friendly and helpful. His assistant Cindy is fun and conversational, my hygienist Cindy (same name) makes teeth cleaning comfortable and informative when it comes to oral care and Parker at the front desk makes you feel like family. Always a good experience!"- K.M. / Google / Aug 04, 2021
"Carol the hygienist and Dr La Mastra are top notch. I avoided the dentist most of my life because I was afraid - but the entire office is super nice and welcoming."- L.W. / Google / Oct 06, 2021
"I came to Texas 11 years ago and have been using Dr. Hamlett ever since. He has done extensive work in my mouth including restoration after having implant. I am not an easy patient to work on since I have a fear of dentist. Dr. Hamlett and his staff have always taken this into account and handled me with extra care and compassion. I will always remember Dr. Hamlett and his team fondly.Hugs,Teresa Taylor"- T.T. / Yelp / Jun 15, 2021
"Dr. Hamlett has been my dentist for many years, and has done various procedures for my dental health. He has always done an excellent, professional job. He is kind, and terrific at making each treatment as comfortable and pleasant as possible. It is important to me that I trust him.I highly recommend him!"- D.H. / Google / Jun 06, 2021
"I have been going to Dr. Hamlett for many years. He is professional, kind, and knows what he is doing! He has performed a number of services for me, and has always done an incredible job. I am always a little anxious getting dental work, but he makes it so much easier and much more pleasant. I trust him, and that is important to me! "- D. / Healthgrades / Jun 06, 2021
Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Right For Me?
Nitrous oxide is one of the most common sedation techniques, and it can be used safely on children and adults alike. Before nitrous oxide gas is used, Dr. Hamlett or Dr. La Mastra will assess your concerns, current medications, and medical history to be sure that nitrous oxide gas is indeed a fit for you. N2O sedation may be utilized for longer or routine procedures paired with a local anesthesia to help reduce potential pain. Nitrous oxide sedation can also be used to address dental anxieties or fears that keep you from visiting the dentist. Nitrous oxide gas may not be suitable if you have difficulty breathing through your nose, extreme phobias, have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other similar conditions.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Nitrous oxide is meant to be gently inhaled throughout the entire dental procedure, whether you’re receiving a restorative treatment or a basic cleaning. As you inhale the sedative through our dedicated nasal mask, you’ll begin to feel warm, relaxed, and prepared to complete your treatment.
One of the most common misconceptions about nitrous oxide is that it puts you to sleep. However, the only sedative that is meant to put you into a deep sleep is general anesthesia, which is largely used in hospitals. Nitrous oxide allows you to stay awake throughout your entire treatment, which means you will be able to talk with Dr. Hamlet or Dr. La Mastra if needed. We’ll do everything possible to ensure your comfort as you undergo your care.
While nitrous oxide is regularly inhaled through your appointment, the effects of the sedative do not stay with you after we remove the mask. This means you can continue the rest of your day without interruptions. With that said, it’s recommended that you give the sedative at least two to five minutes to completely wear off.
What to Expect After Receiving Nitrous Oxide Sedation
After your dental procedure is finished, the nitrous oxide will begin to wear off very quickly, tyically in a matter of minutes. Side effects from nitrous are rare, but when present, include nausea, shivering, sweating, and fatigue. In most cases, adults are safe to drive themselves home after waiting a few minutes to allow the gas to fully wear off.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation FAQ
How safe is nitrous oxide sedation?
When used properly in a medical setting under medical supervision, nitrous oxide sedation is very safe for most patients. Nitrous oxide sedation has been in use for more than 100 years with a very low occurrence of side effects.
Does nitrous oxide sedation make you go to sleep?
Some patients may fall asleep while under nitrous oxide sedation, but it is typically from feeling calm and relaxed, not from an effect of the gas.
Does nitrous oxide sedation stop you from feeling pain?
No, it doesn't. Nitrous oxide sedation does work on the central nervous system and can dull the sensation of pain, but it is more to make you feel less anxious and more comfortable and relaxed during your procedure.
How long do the effects of nitrous oxide sedation last?
The effects of nitrous oxide sedation wear off almost instantly after you've finished with your procedure, allowing you to get right back to your normal routine.
Experience Comfortable Dental Care
If you avoid standard dental appointments or you're dealing with oral discomfort because of anxiety, please schedule a consult with Drs. Hamlett and La Mastra for more information about nitrous oxide sedation at our office in Dallas, TX. Our highly trained team will gladly answer your questions and address your concerns about the use of nitrous oxide sedation.