Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70 percent oxygen with no less than 30 percent nitrous oxide. It is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled. The patient is able to breathe on his or her own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.
There are many advantages to using nitrous oxide
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect such as a “hangover”
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart or lungs
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging
- It works rapidly reaching the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as two to three minutes, it’s relaxation and pain-killing properties develop.
Reasons Not To Use Nitrous Oxide
Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, chest problems, multiple sclerosis, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.
You may want to ask your dentist for a five-minute trial to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.
Conscious Oral Sedation
For most patients who experience mild to moderate anxiety associated with dental treatment, nitrous oxide is an ideal way to make them comfortable during their procedure. However, there are patients who require more than nitrous oxide can offer. Dr. Lakkis recognize that portion of the population classified as moderate to severely anxious, and who require a step above the norm. By using a combination of medications that are administered orally, extremely nervous, anxious or apprehensive patients are able to complete the required dental treatment easily and comfortably.
Dr. Lakkis may recommend oral conscious sedation as a preferred method of anxiety control to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed during your procedure. Conscious sedation is a safe drug-induced state which you are conscious and pleasantly relaxed, yet free of fear, anxiety and apprehension. This is a safe and effective way to feel comfortable and confident during your periodontal treatment.
Your vital signs are carefully monitored during the interval of the procedure. You will need to have a driver to and from the office the day of the appointment and must not drive or operate machinery the day following your treatment. The majority of patients do not remember anything about their procedure.
- For patients who require deeper sedation, we also have an anesthesiologist who comes on-site while we perform your dental treatment. Dr. Lakkis will explain your options and describe the one thats best for you.