Many patients are calm, comfortable, and confident in a dental office. Sometimes, however, a patient feels anxious during treatment. You may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective technique to calm a patient during a dental procedure.
Nitrous oxide is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is nonaddictive, mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated by the body. You remain fully conscious and keep all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen.
We recommend you limit your food intake before the dental visit, as nausea or vomiting occasionally occurs with a full stomach. Also, tell your dentist about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult, as it may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen.
Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medications to assist with fear and anxiety with dental treatment. Medications and dosages used are unlikely to cause loss of consciousness in the patient, although children often become drowsy and may even sleep. Conscious sedation should be considered for those who have a high level of anxiety and are unable to cooperate. It is also extremely helpful for children who are very young or who have special needs.
Many different medications can be used for conscious sedation. Your dentist will discuss different options with you.