It’s not atypical for young children to experience anxiety about an upcoming dental appointment. Visiting the dentist can be unsettling as their understanding of what’s happening is limited. They’re poked and prodded in strange ways and are asked to sit still while this is happening. This can make it a difficult experience for both the child and the dentist. Working on a squirming child can be something of a challenge, and no dentist wants their patient to be in distress. Thankfully, a form of mild sedation is perfect for patients who experience anxiety as part of a dental visit. It’s known as nitrous oxide and has been a standard part of dental care for over a century.
How Nitrous Oxide Improves The Dental Experience
Numerous beneficial traits have been observed with the use of nitrous oxide in treating younger patients. It was first implemented in the dental profession in the late 1800s. It was immediately observed to be effective and harmless, with a fast recovery time and minimal side effects. Millions of patients worldwide have had happier, more relaxed dental experiences thanks to nitrous oxide. A major factor that plays into Nitrous Oxide’s popularity is the ability to control its delivery precisely. Further, the recovery time is so minimal as to be nearly non-existent. The moment the patient begins to breathe without the delivery mask, their head begins to clear. Within mere moments they’re back to functioning at full capacity.
Nitrous oxide also goes by another name, laughing gas. This name was derived from the propensity of patients receiving treatment to laugh or giggle easily. This laughter is the result of the euphoric sensation they experience while under the effect of the gas. Despite this heightened sense of ease, the patient is able to communicate clearly with the dentist and follow instructions. These benefits make nitrous oxide one of the most popular forms of mild sedation available today.
Benefits of Nitrous Oxide
- Communication – Patients under the influence of nitrous oxide can still communicate with their dentist. They can express their opinions, explain how they’re feeling, and otherwise impart important information to the dentist.
- Minimal Recovery Time – Once the gas is removed, patients begin to recover quickly. This means they’ll be able to return to their day following the procedure and will be safe to drive within minutes of the treatment.
- Minimal Side-Effects – Most patients tolerate nitrous oxide quite well, and no notable side effects have been recorded outside of the giddiness mentioned earlier.
Ask your Dentist About Nitrous Oxide
If you have a family member who is particularly fidgety during their dental treatment, ask about nitrous oxide. Most dentists provide this sedative as part of their normal care. However, it’s noteworthy that not all insurance providers will cover the use of sedatives as part of your general care. Reach out to your insurance provider to discuss the specifics of your care. Some may provide a pre-approval process if this sedative isn’t covered under all circumstances.