If it’s been too long since you’ve visited the dentist and the thought of it has your knees knocking, take a deep breath. Sedation dentistry is the way we help our patients relax during their dental procedures. We may recommend an oral sedation to be taken the night before or shortly before your visit, or we may recommend using Nitrous Oxide – also called inhaled minimal sedation.
You may have heard of nitrous oxide because its common name is “laughing gas.” It’s the perfect way to take the fear out of a visit to the dentist. Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective, colorless gas with a sweet odor that is prepared by heating ammonium nitrate. As a dental sedation, it produces exhilaration or anesthesia when mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose. It does not put you to sleep.
During your dental procedure, you will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions your dentist may have. You will breathe normally through your nose, and within a few minutes you should start feeling nitrous oxide’s soothing, calming effects. You may also feel a tingling in your legs and arms or they may feel heavy. You may feel light-headed. But the important thing to remember is that you should feel calm and comfortable. Nitrous oxide wears off soon after your dental procedure is complete and the mask is removed. You will typically need a local anesthetic, as well – a numbing medication at the site where your dentist is working.
Nitrous oxide can make procedures that take hours seem like minutes, even though you are completely awake and conscious. When the effects wear off, you will not remember the sounds, smells or sights of your visit.
Before your dental procedure, we will go over your medical history with you – including any medications you are currently taking. This will ensure that you are an appropriate candidate for oral or nitrous oxide sedation.
Call to schedule an appointment, and let us tell you more about sedation dentistry at Morris County Dental: 973-328-1225.