Colorado Springs, CO
You know what to expect from your average dental visit, right? Some plaque scraped off your teeth, polishing to remove any stains, a round of flossing, a peek under your tongue. Finally, there’s a brief review & thumbs up before you go (plus, a toy afterward, if you behave). You schedule your next appointment and go back to everyday life for another six months. If only it were always that simple.
Unfortunately, every patient isn’t as lucky. Some treatments are more complex, delicate, time-consuming, and painful, requiring further measures to ensure a safe environment and execution of the procedure. Sometimes, anesthesia is the only viable means to accomplish this, dulling your pain in one area or the entire mouth while the work is done. There are several types of anesthesia suited for different situations.
IV Sedation, for instance, may be used for our more complex procedures, and to patients with severe anxiety or dental phobias. Other treatments, however, require you to be awake during the process, which is often where certain popular anesthesia comes in. You likely grew up hearing it referred to as laughing gas. At Todd Rogers Dental, however, we make sure you understand everything you need to know about even the most fun-sounding tools in our arsenal. Any questions you have for us on options for anesthesia can be answered at (719) 357-4425. Let’s address the most frequent questions:
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous Oxide (N2O), commonly nicknamed laughing gas, is an odorless/colorless gas that relieves pain & anxiety during dental treatments. While the name is somewhat misleading in that it does not necessarily make you laugh, it can make patients who are nervous before or during oral treatments more comfortable.
How Is Nitrous Oxide Administered?
Most first-time patients are happy to learn there are no needles involved in Nitrous Oxide’s administration. It is simply inhaled through a small rubber face mask. Because the gas enters your lungs through the nasal passageways, a stuffy nose or breathing problems may prevent it from working.
How Will Nitrous Oxide Affect Me?
While the exact side-effects can vary, patients typically experience this local sedation in five stages: Light-headedness, tingling in your arms & legs, a warm feeling, a sensation of euphoria, and lastly becoming sleepy. Nitrous Oxide will not put you to sleep but may leave your speech temporarily slurred.
How Long Does Nitrous Oxide Take to Work?
The gas’ effects kick in rapidly, often within two-three minutes, and it is eliminated from the body just as quickly. Patients are usually safe to drive themselves home afterward.
Are There Negative Side-effects to Nitrous Oxide?
A small minority have been known to experience negative side-effects, most often occurring if the nitrous level is too high or too much gas is inhaled. When the gas is turned off, the patient must receive oxygen for at least five minutes to purge any remaining Nitrous Oxide from the lungs while at the same time helping him/her wake back up to a state of alertness.
Such negative effects can include but are not limited to:
||Headache- This can happen when adequate oxygen isn’t provided quickly enough to purge the gas from your lungs.
||Nausea- Meals are important to consider before receiving Nitrous Oxide. Although your stomach shouldn’t be empty, a big meal may lead to nausea. So, it’s best to eat a small meal or snack at least a couple hours before your appointment.
||Disorientation- As said, the gas usually wears off as quickly as it kicks in. Regardless, it is always best to ask Dr. Rogers exactly how long after treatment you should wait before driving.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for Children?
We assure you that Nitrous Oxide is very safe for children over the age of three. As with adult patients, your child can stay awake during the procedure, and the gas is exhaled from the body just as quickly.
Remember, if you or a loved one are considering a treatment which may require Nitrous Oxide, be sure to schedule an appointment with Todd Rogers Dental today at (719) 357-4425.