Nitrous Oxide Sedation - Southern Minnesota Sedation Dentistry
Mild Conscious Sedation with Nitrous Oxide commonly known as Laughing Gas
Nitrous oxide is a colorless gas with a slightly sweet odor that has been used in medicine for about a century. It's a safe and effective method of administering conscious sedation which means that you'll stay awake during the procedure. But when nitrous oxide is used in combination with a local anesthetic, you won't feel pain or anxiety. In fact, many of our patients report a feeling of well-being during this type of sedation. All bodily functions remain normal during the administration of nitrous oxide, and its effects wear off quickly afterwards.
How Is It Administered?
As a form of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask that fits comfortably over your nose. The gas is mixed with oxygen as it is being delivered and both gases are always kept at a level that is safe for the body. In just a few minutes, you may start to experience a floating sensation and perhaps some tingling in the hands and feet. That's a sign that the sedation is working. Once it has been verified that you're calm and comfortable, and that the dose is correct, your dental procedure can begin.
Nitrous oxide itself isn't a substitute for a local anesthetic. It's considered an anxiolytic, which means it makes anxiety disappear. For most procedures, you may still need an anesthetic injection. The difference is, you won't mind. Yet, you won't be asleep. You'll be able to speak, be aware of what's going on, and you will remain in control during the procedure. In fact, the dose can be fine-tuned to just the level of sedation you need. When the procedure is over, the flow of nitrous oxide is decreased to zero, and the oxygen may be increased. After resting in the chair for a few minutes, you'll be able to sit up, and soon you can resume normal activities like driving.
To learn if nitrous oxide is the right choice for you, contact Southern Minnesota Sedation Dentistry today!