Although there are many treatment options at Pacific Modern Dentistry that require local anesthesia, for some patients, we may also recommend sedation options, including nitrous dioxide sedation, so that you may have a painless and anxiety-free dental experience.
Use of Nitrous Oxide in Dentistry
Nitrous oxide is more commonly known as laughing gas or happy gas. However, the latter are misnomers since, contrary to popular belief, nitrous oxide does not make you laugh. Instead, it puts you into a relaxed and calm state so that you are more comfortable during a dental procedure.
At Pacific Modern Dentistry, Dr. Jae Seon Kim can administer nitrous oxide to you by fitting a small mask over your nose. The gas will not put you to sleep and you will be able to respond to questions and follow any directions we give you. Once the procedure is completed, you will be able to quickly recover from its effects.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Children?
The American Dental Association has conducted comprehensive research on the use of nitrous oxide for both children and adults and deemed it to be safe. Nitrous oxide is administered mixed with oxygen so that you have no problems breathing during the treatment procedure.
Nitrous oxide is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry, is very effective, and is well-tolerated by most patients. It works rapidly and its effects dissipate just as rapidly once the patient is taken off the gas. Its concentration can also be adjusted for the patient’s benefit or as required by the procedure.
What to Expect Before and During the Use of Nitrous Oxide
As an adult, you must give your consent for the use of nitrous oxide on you or on your underage children. Before your child comes for the appointment, they may have a light meal consisting of soup, toast, or jelly, and a drink two hours before the procedure. After that, they cannot eat or drink anything until after the procedure is finished.
Nitrous oxide will be given to your child in the dental chair. Your child will breathe in the gas through a small nosepiece and will experience a warm and dreamy feeling. Their hands and feet may also have a tingly feeling. Although they will remain conscious throughout the procedure, they may not remember all the details afterwards and time may lose their awareness of time.
We will continue to adjust your child’s level of sedation and monitor your child’s breathing throughput the procedure. In some cases, your child’s level of oxygen may drop or they mayfeel nauseous and may vomit. If this happens, we will supply them with oxygen through a mask.
Once the nitrous oxide is removed, the patient will recover quickly. Adults can even drive themselves home after resting for a few minutes. Children may be observed for a brief period of time and then can go back to their normal routine.
Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedation option for people who suffer from anxiety in the dental chair or who have a low pain threshold. If you think that nitrous oxide may benefit you but have questions about the sedation method, call us today at (206)284-4505 and schedule an appointment with us.