Most patients – nearly 60% -- get nervous or anxious before receiving dental care. In extreme cases, some of them might even decide to avoid their appointments altogether! With sedation dentistry, we can help you get control over your dental anxieties and help you relax while Dr. Petty cleans, examines, or treats your smile. For those undergoing simple procedures or suffering from mild anxieties, we may suggest nitrous oxide to make your visit stress-free; call our office for details!
You might be more familiar with nitrous oxide under another name: “laughing gas.” It may or may not give you the giggles, but it does put you in a euphoric state where you’re completely comfortable with your surroundings and what’s happening to you. When used as a sedative, it is mixed with oxygen and delivered through a nasal mask. Dr. Petty has direct control over how much of the sedative you receive at once, and he can increase or decrease the dosage depending on your needs.
Some people hear the word “sedation” and expect to be put to sleep, but while you may be relaxed enough to the point that you could doze off, nitrous oxide does not actually cause you to become unconscious. If you fall asleep, you can be awakened easily. You’ll also be able to answer our questions and follow our directions as needed. While under the influence of nitrous oxide, you won’t be aware of your environment, and you might not even remember the treatment itself.
Nitrous oxide is used in a few different situations at our dental practice. We might recommend it if:
We’ll need to check your medical history before using nitrous oxide. Patients who are pregnant or have elevated blood pressure may not be eligible.
With other forms of sedation, it could take the rest of the day for the effects to wear off completely. Nitrous oxide, on the other hand, doesn’t typically have lingering side effects. That means you don’t have to make any special arrangements after your treatment. You simply wait a few minutes to fully recover before you return to your regular routine; you can even drive yourself home or return to work. Of course, depending on the kind of treatment you received, you might be given different follow-up instructions.