According to Stats Canada, about 40% of Canada’s population has a “strong fear” of visiting the dentist. For these people, that fear is not just a slight twinge of not liking dental checkups, but an extreme fear or discomfort that may dissuade that person from getting regular dental treatments. If you’re one of the people scared of visiting the dentist, there are several reasons why nitrous oxide aka laughing gas can ease your fears and make your visit more pleasant.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous Oxide is known as the “laughing gas”. It is a mild sedation that helps relax patients who are extremely nervous of needles or dental treatments. It can also help ease the process for children who are fearful of a first cavity filling or even a cleaning.
Nitrous Oxide is mixed with oxygen and is a safe gas that is completely eliminated from the body shortly after being administered.
Simply Breathe It In
One of the great things about nitrous oxide is that it is typically inhaled through a mask placed over the nose and mouth. This means it can be administered quickly to a panicked child to help ease his fears. It does not involve a shot, so a person who is scared of needles should not be afraid of receiving laughing gas.
Upon first breathing in nitrous oxide, you may smell a faint, sweet aroma. The relaxation is almost immediate and can cause a sense of well-being and giddiness. Some people react by giggling over the slightest thing, which is how the gas got its nickname. Patients sometimes report arms and legs tingling slightly, but it is not an unpleasant sensation.
How it Eases Fears
Because it has a mild sedative effect, nitrous oxide relaxes the patient and naturally eases fears. The gas can also raise the level of pain people can tolerate. However, for treatments other than simple cleanings, the dentist may still administer a numbing shot in the gums. The gas simply eases the fear of getting those shots and even the sensation of receiving them.
Sedation dentistry will put you at ease without lasting side effects. Nitrous oxide has a long, proven track record in the industry for effectiveness and safety.
Another benefit of using nitrous oxide over other stress relieving medications is that it wears off so quickly that you won’t need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment.
If you’d like to know more about why nitrous oxide dentistry can ease your fears, contact us and our team of trained professionals will be happy to talk to you about ways to manage your fear or the fears of your child while still maintaining excellent dental health.