About 60 percent of people have been found to suffer from some level of anxiety when it comes to any kind of dental care – periodontal care included. Naturally, at Pioneer Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we’re no strangers to patients who are nervous about receiving periodontal therapy or dental implant surgery. The nitrous oxide sedation that we offer will help you quickly relax so that you can stay calm during your visit without being bothered by the sights and sounds around you. When you call our office for an appointment, be sure to mention whether you or a loved one suffers from anxiety that sedation might help with.
Nitrous oxide is more commonly known as “laughing gas.” Despite the name, it won’t actually make you laugh; it will, however, put you in a euphoric state where your fears and stress will melt away and you won’t be bothered by whatever is going on around you. The process for administering nitrous oxide is very simple. You wear a mask over your nose and breathe in the sedative after it has been mixed with oxygen. Depending on how the procedure goes, we may need to increase or decrease the sedation level in small increments.
At no point is nitrous oxide meant to put you fully to sleep. There are cases of patients becoming so sleepy that they doze off, but they can be gently awakened. Some people report feeling lightheaded or experiencing a tingling sensation in their arms and legs. While under the influence of nitrous oxide, you will not experience pain.
Once the procedure is complete and the sedative is stopped, it only takes a few minutes for the effects to dissipate. You may or may not remember the events of the treatment. You will, however, be alert and awake enough to drive home by yourself and continue the rest of your day as normal.
Nitrous oxide is usually suggested for patients who are afraid or anxious about their treatment. Of course, there are other cases where it can help as well. For example, if you have a powerful gag reflex or often have trouble holding your jaw open for long periods of time, nitrous oxide sedation can make the process much smoother. It’s also a good idea to be sedated if you’re currently suffering from tooth sensitivity or jaw pain that would make periodontal treatment particularly unpleasant.
For other sedatives, you may need to set aside an entire day to fully recover from the effects. With nitrous oxide, you don’t have to make any such accommodations since the effects wear off so quickly. You may, however, receive specific follow-up instructions depending on what kind of treatment you received.