Nitrous Oxide 2018-04-13T01:31:04+00:00

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide

Serving Miles City, Baker, Brodus, Circle, Forsyth, Glendive and Surrounding Areas

We cater to the brave and the not-so-brave! Nitrous oxide, an inhalation gas, creates a calming feeling for patients of all ages. It has a quick onset, and patients recover from the light sedative effect within minutes. Be sure to ask us when making your appointment if you would like to benefit from this service.

We have discovered over the years that fear of dentists can be a significant barrier for patients scheduling needed treatment.  Statistics show that 10-75% of patients have mild, moderate, or severe fear regarding dental visits. Dentists are well aware of the fear factor.  We do everything we can to create an inviting environment, including relaxation techniques, technological advances such as dental lasers to minimize discomfort, and conscious sedation. Hogan Family Dental offers nitrous oxide sedation for patients with mild-to-moderate anxiety.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous gas and oxygen when dispensed together create an anxiolytic agent called nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”.  This gas is administered through a mask that is placed over the nose. The patient simply breathes normally through their nose to inhale the nitrous gas which gives a mild sedative effect.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Nitrous oxide may be used alone as an anxiolytic agent for very simple procedures, or in conjunction with dental anesthetic. Patients remain completely conscious during dental procedures and can hear and easily respond to the dental provider. The onset of nitrous oxide is quick; patients usually begin to feel relaxed within minutes. The effects of nitrous oxide are completely reversible within two-three minutes of discontinuing the gas. Prior to dismissal, a patient will breathe oxygen which flushes the nitrous gas from the pulmonary system.

When Might Nitrous Oxide Be Used?

Indications for nitrous oxide administration:

  • anxiety associated with dental treatment
  • gagging reflex
  • untoward body movements
  • inability to sit for long periods of time
  • medically compromised or mentally/physically disabled

How Does Nitrous Oxide Make You Feel?

Most patients simply feel more relaxed. Occasionally, patients may feel goofy, silly, or ‘dreamy,’ hence the colloquialism “laughing gas”. Patients may report a tingling sensation in the arms or legs while breathing the sedative gas. Nitrous oxide levels can be easily adjusted to increase or decrease the effects depending on patients’ needs.

Who Benefits?

Children and adults alike, with mild to moderate dental anxiety, may benefit from nitrous oxide. Many individuals prefer nitrous oxide/oxygen over Intravenous (IV) sedation (putting a patient to sleep) due to ease of use, reduced cost, minimal recovery time, and lack of invasiveness.

Nitrous gas loses its effectiveness when a patient’s nasal passages are clogged. A patient who has been crying or a patient suffering from a cold or sinus infection will have minimal benefit from using the nitrous gas. Therefore, we encourage patients to relax prior to their dental visit, to avoid crying, and to reschedule if suffering from a respiratory illness.

For Everyone?

Nitrous gas is not for everyone. Others may not appreciate the feelings of using nitrous oxide. In addition, some patients may not appreciate the “loss of control” while using nitrous oxide/oxygen. Patients with higher levels of anxiety may wish to receive treatment under oral or IV sedation. Hogan Family Dental works in close partnership with several dental specialists who offer these alternative options. This partnership allows the patient to be successful in completing needed dental treatment.

If you or someone you know experiences dental anxiety, we would like to help you.  Our team at Hogan Family Dental is equipped and ready to assist you manage your dental anxiety.

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