Keep Calm With Nitrous Oxide At Your Dental Appointment
For certain dental procedures, dentists use nitrous oxide gas to calm patients and to manage any potential pain that may occur. It is a safe, common, and effective type of anaesthetic drug for many reasons.
Nitrous gas does not put the patient to sleep. Instead, nitrous gas has calming properties that creates a feeling of euphoria by slowing down the reaction time of the body. Patients do maintain general awareness through the procedure. Nitrous gas is a versatile anesthesia because it takes effect very quickly yet wears off after a short while so patients are not affected for too long.
The application of nitrous gas is simple and painless for the patient. The dentist will have the patient place a mask over their mouth and nose. The patient then breathes at a normal rate through the nose. Patients will feel the effects of the gas quickly, within minutes.
At first, you may feel lightheaded and experience a tingling sensation in your limbs. This feeling settles into a general feeling of calm. However, you will still be responsive and aware of your surroundings. The nitrous gas mask is left on for the entirety of the procedure. This is because once it’s removed, the effects of the gas will go away shortly.
Once the mask is removed, patients will be given an oxygen mask to inhale. The oxygen insures that the patient will not experience headaches or other potential minor reactions to coming off of the nitrous oxide. After five minutes, the oxygen will have circulated through the patient’s system to effectively lessen the effect of the gas, bringing back clarity and awareness.
Nitrous oxide has a mild sedative effect. It is generally used for lengthy dental procedures that do not require full anesthesia. Other reasons dictate the use of nitrous oxide depending on the patient and the procedure.