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Michael E. King, DDS
Taking It Easy At the Dental Office
Michael King DDS (Mira Dental Care)

Taking It Easy At the Dental Office

“Honey, have you made your appointment with the dentist? You know it is that time?” And then the anxiety sets in. Nowadays, trips to the dental office can be much more pleasurable with the use of nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide is used to ease a patients mind during treatment. It is a commonly used dental sedative that produces a giddiness or euphoria, which is why people frequently call it “laughing gas.”

Nitrous oxide, a sweet-smelling gas, is a compound of nitrogen and oxygen. It is inhaled, along with oxygen, through a nasal mask. It is used for patients of all ages. It is also used in a number of dental treatments such as tooth restoration, placement of crowns, or for minor surgical procedures. It has the effect of raising the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. Nitrous oxide has several advantages over other sedatives. It is fast acting, patients recover quickly, and it is associated with few side effects.

Nitrous oxide provides “conscious sedation.” The patient is capable of a rational response to a question or command. Conscious sedation differs from general anesthesia since it does not put the patient totally “to sleep” and involves less risk.

Some anxious patients may need only a little oral medication the night before to prepare them for their dental visit the next day. For other patients a combination of sedation methods is needed. Whatever the anxiety level, your dentist will carefully consider the various options for helping you have a more relaxed dental visit. If you have any questions about nitrous oxide, talk with your dentist.

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