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Texas Denture Clinic

Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Dental Care While You Relax

The Benefits of Nitrous Oxide

The most common form of sedation in the world of dentistry is nitrous oxide gas, sometimes referred to as laughing gas or sweet air. This anesthetic drug, which is used in roughly a third of all dental procedures in the United States, has proven itself to be safe and effective. If you'd like to take advantage of the various benefits of nitrous oxide sedation during your dental procedure, you can contact Texas Denture Clinic to schedule an appointment.

Patients who want to use nitrous oxide gas should avoid eating anything during the two hours before sedation. The fact that nitrous oxide is administered via a mask and simply inhaled makes it an attractive option for patients who want to avoid the use of an IV or general anesthetic.

Photo of woman receiving nitrous oxide

It takes anywhere from 30 seconds to four minutes of breathing for the effects of nitrous oxide to start setting in. The patient will feel a pleasant level of sedation, and in some cases, the cheeks and gums will start to go numb. This is perfectly safe, and occurs in roughly one out of every three patients. Once the appropriate amount of gas is being administered to the patient, the dentist can proceed.

Once the procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide will be replaced with pure oxygen. Generally, this reverses the sedative's effects within about five minutes, often allowing patients to leave without an escort and drive themselves home. Such rapid recovery isn't available with general anesthesia or IV sedation.

One of the most useful effects of nitrous oxide is its calming factor. Any fear or anxiety over the procedure is usually overpowered by the gas's relaxing effects, making it especially good for young children who are afraid of the dentist. In most cases, if you or your children are nervous about your appointment, you can specifically ask for nitrous oxide gas to help ease your anxiety and make you more comfortable with the procedure.

For more information on nitrous oxide sedation dentistry, contact our Fort Worth offices today.

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