Flower Mound General Dentistry
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Nitrous Oxide


WHAT IS NITROUS OXIDE?

Nitrous oxide is a popular anesthetic agent used by dentists. Its safety has been well-established; it is effective, and the anesthetic effect wears off quickly so there is no extended recovery time.


It can be used for both children and adults. In fact, 85% of pediatric dentists use it, according to the AMERICAN BOARD OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY.

 

Nitrous oxide has a very calming comforting effect, even though the patient remains in control. Some dental experts have called it the "ideal anesthetic" because it takes effect quickly (in less than 5 minutes) and because there is a very rapid recovery time (about 5 to 10 minutes). Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen so that you will have an ample supply of oxygen at the same time.

In addition to the sedative effect of nitrous oxide, it helps control the discomfort associated with some procedures. The level of sedation can be easily adjusted for the best possible effect for each individual patient.
 

WHY IS NITROUS OXIDE RECOMMENDED?

Some people have had an unpleasant experience at the dentist earlier in life. In addition, negative stories told by others and the dental "horrors" depicted in comic strips and on television have served to increase anxiety for many people who anticipate a dental visit.


Nitrous oxide seems to be especially effective to help relieve the anxiety associated with a trip to the dentist. It is also very helpful for those people who seem to have an "overactive gag reflex." It simply helps you relax. A relaxed, cooperative, informed patient facilitates the dentist's work.

Nitrous oxide is also a valuable tool for pain control. Nitrous oxide may be used alone or with other pain control methods to achieve the very best effect for the patient.

In spite of all the negative stories and experiences, modern dentistry is not something to fear, but should be considered a powerful ally in your quest for lifelong good health.

 

NITROUS OXIDE LETS YOU STAY IN CONTROL
Many people have a fear of being out of control. One of the advantages of nitrous oxide is that it is a conscious anesthetic, which means that you will be awake and in control even though you are sedated.

Because conscious sedation allows you to communicate throughout the procedure you can tell your dentist if you experience any uncomfortable sensations. Nitrous oxide can be discontinued at any time and within five minutes you feel like you did before nitrous oxide was started.


EVERYONE RESPONDS DIFFERENTLY

Everyone responds a bit differently to all chemical compounds administered. Another advantage of nitrous oxide is that the dosage can be adjusted quickly and safely for each individual patient.

 

 
HOW IS IT ADMINISTERED?
Your blood pressure and pulse will be taken before beginning nitrous oxide. When you are comfortably seated, nitrous oxide will be given through a mask apparatus that fits snugly over your nose. You will be observed carefully by the dentist and staff.

 

 
NITROUS OXIDE IS NOT SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE
There are very few patients who will not benefit from nitrous oxide. Those patients with severe anxiety may need other agents to help them since nitrous oxide is a mild sedative.

Children who are not old enough to understand what is happening should not be given nitrous oxide. Any other patients with comprehension or communication difficulties may not be good candidates for nitrous oxide.


Using nitrous oxide during pregnancy probably should be avoided.
 
REMEMBER...
 
Nitrous oxide is a conscious sedation - you are in control. It is a time-tested, safe and effective method of relieving discomfort and anxiety that sometimes accompanies a dental visit. We believe that an informed, relaxed patient contributes greatly to effective dental care.

Nitrous oxide anesthesia is but one of the many ways that modern dentistry strives to make your dental visit pleasant and effective.