Sedation Dentistry in Cookeville, TN

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is administered through a gas mask to induce feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and reduced pain sensation. It is considered the safest sedative used in dentistry due to its mild concentration. It is often used in pediatric dentistry to help kids with severe dental anxiety or strong gag reflex. 
It is recommended that you fast for 2 hours before your dental treatment to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting. In addition to nitrous oxide, a steady flow of oxygen is also flowing through the gas mask so it is very easy to breathe. Nitrous oxide has a quick onset and also wears off within 5 minutes of flushing the mask with oxygen. To receive dental sedation for your next dental appointment with Dr. Taylor Enochs Engler, contact us at Dogwood Family Dental at (931) 528-6536.

Dental cleaning exam

Sedation to Ease Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is extremely common, especially among children. While most people can relate to pre-dental visit nerves, some people have a debilitating fear of going to the dentist. When anticipating going to the dentist causes significant distress, it can lead to dental avoidance. 

You should visit the dentist every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. However, if dental anxiety is holding you or your child back from getting much-needed dental treatment, this can lead to worsening oral health problems that will require more complex and expensive treatment.

Dental sedation can help induce a state of calmness in a patient that would otherwise feel panic. Nitrous oxide may also cause fatigue or feelings of euphoria. If your child has experienced dental trauma, they may appreciate the likelihood that they won’t remember anything from their dental treatment and this can help to reduce future anxiety in anticipation of going to the dentist.

Effects of Laughing Gas

Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is a mild sedative that leaves the patient fully conscious during the dental treatment and fully aware of their surroundings, though it may be difficult to remember things once the sedative has worn off. Patients can respond to instructions and answer questions during the procedure.

Other effects include feeling very sleepy and the patient may even drift off to sleep. However, it will not be difficult for you to be woken up. Laughing gas induces a patient into a state of deep relaxation and it doesn’t take long for the effects to kick in. Within a few minutes of inhaling the gas through the nasal mask, the effects will be felt.

Laughing gas can sometimes cause hallucinations and confusion. It can also cause nausea and vomiting, especially if the patient did not fast for the 2 hours leading up to sedation. Some people may feel very giddy and giggly, which is why the gas is nicknamed “laughing gas”

Preparation and What to Expect

Before being sedated with nitrous oxide, you will need to inform Dr. Taylor Enochs Engler of your medical history and any medications you are currently taking to determine if you are a suitable candidate. Preparation for the procedure is minimal, requiring only that you fast for the 2 hours leading up to sedation. Something light can be eaten at least 2 hours before the treatment and then you should refrain from eating or drinking until your dental visit is over.

We will monitor you during and after the procedure to ensure that you are getting enough oxygen, aren’t feeling nauseous, and that there aren’t any complications. If you feel nauseous after the procedure, we recommend that you try drinking some water. 

Young children may refuse water so other clear liquids can be used as an alternative to keep them hydrated. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly so you should feel back to normal within a few minutes but if you received any local anesthesia, remember not to eat anything until it has completely worn off so you don’t hurt yourself.

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