Does your fear of the dentist keep you from getting the care your teeth and gums need to be healthy? You are not alone. Many people get extremely nervous about dental visits because of:
- a past bad experience
- needing a lot of dental work
- very sensitive teeth
- an overly active gag reflex
As such, their dental health really suffers. However, there is a simple solution, and you and your dentist can decide if the procedure is right for you. It's called sedation dentistry, and it involves the administration of a drug to help relax and calm you while your dental professional examines and cleans your teeth and performs needed procedures such as fillings and crowns.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as "laughing gas," is the drug of choice for minimal dental sedation. The term "minimal sedation" means that the patient is awake for his procedure. He can talk, hear and respond to commands but is very relaxed. Some people who receive nitrous oxide feel somewhat light-headed or even a bit euphoric--hence the nickname, "laughing gas."
The dentist carefully administers nitrous oxide, mixed with oxygen, through a mask placed over the the patient's face. The patient's vital signs (breathing, heart rate and blood pressure) are monitored through the procedure, and a local, injectable anesthetic is usually also administered for more complex dental work.
After the procedure, the nitrous oxide sedation wears off quickly. The patient can usually drive himself home from the dental office.
Who Is a Candidate For Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
Laughing gas may be used on both children and adults. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that the dentist should discuss a patient's medical history, including any medications, before determining if nitrous oxide would be appropriate. In general, people who are obese or who experience sleep apnea are not good candidates for this minimal sedation.
Another great advantage of laughing gas is that it can be used for easier dental visits any time a individual wishes to have it. Both dentists and patients praise sedation dentistry because people who normally put off routine care and important dental procedures are able to sit in the dentist's chair without their usual fear and anxiety.
Your Family Dentist PC
Is anxiety keeping you from getting the dental care you need? Yati Yadav DDS FAGD and Ben Koolick DDS understand. They offer sedation as a part of their family dental practice in Peoria and Glendale, Arizona. To see if this procedure can help you achieve your healthiest and brightest smile, call Your Family Dentist for an appointment: 623-878-3300. They practice "Dentistry That's All About You!"