Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option your dentist may offer to help make your child more comfortable during certain dental procedures. Oral sedation, nitrous oxide and intravenous sedation are the major types of sedation dentists provide. Because of its specific pharmacokinetic properties, nitrous oxide can offer significant benefits to the anxiety patient and it also has several advantages over other dental sedation methods.
Advantages of nitrous oxide include:
1.Dental anxietycontrol. Nitrous oxide sedation is very effective for mild to moderate anxiety. The basic advantage of nitrous oxide sedation is that it can help transform patients with dental anxiety into relaxed and fully co-operative patients by relieving the stress, fear and anxiety associated with dental visits.
2. Pain control. Nitrous oxide does not only reduces anxiety, but it also has analgesic properties by increasing the patient’s threshold of pain. Although it offers only mild pain control, this can be enough for simple not invasive procedures, reducing the need for additional local anesthesia. Its pain relieving action can help people who have difficulty getting numb.
3. Patient – dentist communication. Nitrous oxide provides light sedation, meaning that the patient remains conscious being able to communicate with the dentist and respond to instructions, and the protective reflexes are maintained.
4. Little preparation is needed. The patient must only fast for 4-6 hours in order to prepare for nitrous sedation.
5. Fast action. It is fast acting with its anti-anxiety and pain killing effect felt within 2-3 minutes. All the dentist has to do is to place a mask over your nose, administer the nitrous oxide and you will be relaxed in seconds.
6. No shots. Patients with fear of needles will appreciate the fact that no shots are required for inhalation sedation. For simple treatments you may not need shots for local anesthesia either.
7. Adjustable sedation level. The depth of inhalation sedation can be adjusted easily and precisely at any time by regulating the nitrous oxide percentage in the N2O /oxygen mixture. The ability to adjust the sedation level to the exact amount needed to provide patient’s comfort and safety is the main advantage of nitrous oxide versus other types of conscious dental sedation.
8. Flexible duration. The patient can remain sedated for exactly as long the dentist needs to complete the procedure just by maintaining the flow of N2O.
9. Safety. Nitrous oxide usage in sedation dentistry has a proven safety record with very limited side effects. The fact that sedation is quickly reversible by just stopping the administration of the gas reduces significantly the risks in combination with proper equipment, patient monitoring and a properly trained dentist.
10. Fast recovery. Recovery time after the flow of nitrous oxide is discontinued is short. You will be given 100% oxygen for 3-5 minutes which is usually enough for full recovery.
11. No escort is needed (for adults). Another benefit of nitrous oxide sedation is that you do not need someone to escort you to and from the dental office.
12. Positive user experience. A patient who does not have to worry about anxiety and pain during the dental visit can build a more positive view about the dentist and dental treatments. For this reason nitrous oxide sedation can lead to a much better dental health for the patient.
Dr. Meghan Dicks
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Trudent Family Dentistry | Fredericton | ( 506) 999-DENT (3368)
Gateway Dental Centre | Oromocto | (506) 357-2440
Dr. Dicks was born in Newfoundland and she moved to Fredericton in 1998 where she attended LHHS and UNB. Dr. Dicks graduated from UNB in 2007, excelling both academically and athletically. She was on the Dean’s list and received an Academic All Canadian award as a member of the UNB women’s hockey team. Dr. Dicks went on to Dalhousie University where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2012. Dr. Dicks was the recipient of a number of awards during her dental studies, including the prestigious award in her senior year as the “student with the greatest proficiency in Restorative Dentistry.”
Dr. Dicks has received training and certificates in implant dentistry along with nitrous oxide and oral sedation. She has a great compassion for her patients and aims to provide them with a calm, comfortable dental experience. Dr. Dicks loves working with people of all ages and has a passion for working on children.
In her spare time, Dr. Dicks enjoys spending time with her husband Pete and their baby boy Teddy. They enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle with friends and family. Dr. Dicks feels very lucky to continue her career in this beautiful city and is excited to begin seeing new patients.