Now that we are wrapping up the summer and getting ready for a new school year, it is a wise decision to make a dental appointment so you can make sure all the summer fun you had didn’t leave your smile hurting for attention. Unfortunately, many of us have a legitimate fear of going to the dentist. Dental anxiety is an actual condition that results in patients having a hard time sitting in the dentist’s chair long enough to finish even a simple checkup. When this issue arises, the dentist may suggest a form of medicine to help a patient feel more relaxed or sleepy, but still widely conscious. This medicine? Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.
Administered via a mask, the patient will breathe in the laughing gas through their nose. Slowly, it will take effect and will eventually make the feel comfortable, even giddy in some cases, which is where it gets its moniker.
The effects quickly wear off as well, often completely gone from the patient’s body just five minutes after the mask is taken off. This makes it possible for patients to move around normally, even drive safely without needing someone to accompany them to-and-from the dentist’s office.
Patients who are suffering from medical conditions, such as emphysema and multiple sclerosis are not good candidates for nitrous oxide sedation. The same goes for pregnant women, specifically, those who are in the first trimester of pregnancy.
If you’re concerned about whether or not nitrous oxide sedation is safe for you, be sure to discuss it with your doctor or a local dentist.
If you would like more information about nitrous oxide, call Dr. Greg J. Herd in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA at 949-858-5147 or visit www.gregherddds.com.
Dr. Herd proudly serves Rancho Santa Margarita and all surrounding areas.