Nitrous Oxide is a drug in the form of a gas delivered to the patient through a mask that fits over the nose.

Nitrousoxide is considered to be extremely safe because its effect only lasts as long as the gas is being breathed by the patient. Also, since the gas is given to the patient with Oxygen, the patient actually gets as much , or more, Oxygen than from breathing just air.

Nitrous-Oxide has many effects including reduced anxiety, reduced pain, altered perception (which may make appointments seem shorter), and also visual fear reduction (as the view of dental instruments that could be potentially frightening is obstructed by the nose mask).The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a "hangover".
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on you heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain-killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide:
Nitrous-Oxide can be used for both the adult and the child patient, but cannot be used on pregnant women as the gas is known to be potentially harmful to the unborn child. It is, therefore, recommended not to use the gas on pregnant women.
Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing. Also, a small percentage of patients can experience nausea caused by nitrous inhalation. Otherwise, the gas is very safe and a great benefit for anxious patients.
You may want to ask your dentist for a "5 minute trial" to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.

 

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