Non-Drowsy & Painless Sedation Dentistry
If you’re nervous or even afraid of the dentist, sedation dentistry can help ensure your experience is comfortable, pain-free, and that the procedure goes by quickly. However, oral conscious sedation may not be right for you if you aren’t confident that you’ll remember to take a pill at a certain time. Or if you have Trypanophobia (fear of needles) the idea of IV sedation might be too much to even think about.
Fortunately, there’s a tried and true method of sedation that doesn’t involve pills or needles. This sedation method even allows you to drive yourself back home after your dental appointment! At Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry, our Belvidere dentists are proud to offer nitrous oxide sedation, the most popular form of sedation in modern dentistry.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the most widely utilized method of sedation. A colorless, odorless, and non-flammable gas, nitrous oxide is simply inhaled through a mask or a nosepiece. The gas is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, producing a giddy feeling akin to having a few glasses of wine, hence the nickname of laughing gas. The effects will take place almost immediately.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide is the most popular form of sedation for many reasons, some of which include:
- Fast Acting — Nitrous oxide is directly absorbed through the airways into the bloodstream, so you’ll feel the effects quickly.
- Non-Drowsy — Once your sedation dentist turns off the flow of nitrous oxide, the effects will wear off within minutes. This means you can drive yourself home and even go to work afterward.
- Completely Painless — Nitrous oxide sedation involves no needles, helping to alleviate fear and discomfort.
- Professional Application — Nitrous oxide is applied at our Belvidere dental office by one of our skilled dentists. There’s no chance you’ll forget to take a pill at the prescribed time.
- Low Risk — With nitrous oxide sedation, there’s even less risk of vomiting, choking, and post-procedure complications than with other forms of sedation.
- Retrograde Amnesia — As with other sedatives, nitrous oxide sedation may make you forgetful. You might not even remember the specifics of the procedure, which people with severe dental anxiety might appreciate.
- Conscious Sedation — Laughing gas will allow you to stay awake and respond to any questions. Even if you fall asleep, we can easily wake you up to check in on you. This results in a much safer procedure.
What To Expect From Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Before Your Visit
As with other forms of sedation, your Belvidere dentist will have you attend a consultation where they’ll go over your candidacy for nitrous oxide. If you’re approved, they’ll give you specific instructions on how to prepare before your appointment.
Unlike other forms of sedation, you may be able to eat a light meal up to two hours before you go under the effects of nitrous oxide. However, you’ll need to follow all rules for fasting, even if it requires a longer fasting period. While the rules for fasting might be lighter than other forms of sedation, you’ll still need to wear loose comfortable clothes and stick to short sleeves. We’ll be monitoring your vitals which means tight clothes and long sleeves can get in the way of equipment.
Be sure to avoid or remove nail polish, jewelry, and contact lenses before your appointment. These can injure you while you’re experiencing the effects or hide signs of problems such as cyanosis.
During Your Visit
Once you’ve arrived, we’ll ask you questions to make sure you’re ready. If you’re prepared, we’ll attach you to machinery that will allow us to monitor your vitals. Then, we’ll attach the mask or nosepiece and start the gas stream. We’ll ask you questions as needed to make sure you’re doing well throughout the procedure and not experiencing any pain or discomfort.
After Your Visit
Once the supply of nitrous oxide gas is cut off, the effects will cease within a few minutes. We’ll make sure the effects are fully worn off and give you any necessary aftercare instructions based on the specifics of your procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nitrous oxide sedation is one of the cheaper options, but the exact cost will depend on numerous factors. The length of sedation, the type of procedure you’ll be undergoing, and your insurance coverage are all factors.
We encourage you to contact your provider beforehand to confirm with them which costs they can cover. If you need help covering the cost of your sedation, feel free to talk to any of our dental professionals and we’ll work something out with you.
Nitrous oxide is one of the safest methods of sedation dentistry. The process has been refined through over a hundred years of use. When applied and monitored by a skilled professional, there’s little risk of complications. Side effects are minimal and usually wear off very quickly.
You may be a candidate for nitrous oxide sedation if any of the following apply to you:
- Your dental fear or anxiety stops you from receiving dental care
- You have a long procedure coming
- You’re afraid of needles
- You don’t believe you’ll remember to take a pill on time
- You need help staying still during your procedure
- You need to drive yourself home or work that day
Nitrous oxide is an especially safe and beneficial option for children. Younger patients often don’t do well with needles or pills, so inhaling a simple gas can make children feel much more at ease about visiting the dentist. Additionally, nitrous oxide is the sedation dentistry option with the fewest side effects and the least chance of complications, making it an even better choice for children who are due for a procedure.