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Things You Should Know About Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) Sedation Dentistry

You Can Feel Relaxed During Your Visit

If you find it difficult to visit the dentist because of anxiety or nervousness, keep in mind that it’s a more common problem than you’d think. Millions of Americans avoid going to the dentist for years at a time, even for basic checkups, due to anxiety or fear. At Casco Bay Smiles, Dr. McVety and his team want to make patients feel as comfortable as possible every time they visit. Nitrous oxide sedation is one of the ways we accomplish this. If you struggle to visit for care, even when you know that you need to address a dental issue or restart your routine exams and cleanings, give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to help you out.

Why Choose Casco Bay Smiles for Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

  • Fast-Acting Sedative Makes You Relaxed Quickly
  • Continue the Rest of Your Day Without Interruption
  • Easily Controlled by Dentist for Patient Needs

What is Nitrous Oxide?

A young patient receiving nitrous oxide sedation.

Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a common dental sedative designed to help fearful patients feel more calm during their treatment. It’s essentially an odorless gas made up of both nitrous and oxygen. It creates a warm calming sensation throughout the body and works almost instantly once inhaled. When administered by a dental professional, it is 100 percent safe to use.

Keep in mind that nitrous oxide is not designed to put you to sleep. It is not in any way like general anesthesia. You’ll still be awake and aware, which means you can tell Dr. McVety about your comfort levels and ask questions throughout treatment.

How Does Sedation Work?

A woman covering her mouth in the dental chair.

Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a nasal mask through the entirety of treatment. Within the next couple minutes, you’ll feel far more relaxed than you did prior to your arrival. You may even experience a slight floating sensation the more time you spend inhaling it. Once treatment is completed, we can just as easily remove the gas, allowing you to start feeling normal once again.

Since there are no lasting effects to nitrous oxide, you can continue the rest of your day with no interruption whatsoever. You won’t even need to have anyone drive you to and from the office for your appointment, which cannot be said for other methods of sedation.

Am I a Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

An older woman smiling outside.

There are many instances where nitrous oxide sedation may be appropriate for you. These examples can be found below:

  • You have dental anxiety, nervousness or phobia
  • You dislike needles, which is how local anesthetic is often administered
  • You’ve had negative experiences with dentists in the past
  • Your teeth are sensitive or you have a sensitive gag reflex
  • You find it hard to keep still in the dental chair
  • You need to have a large amount of dental work completed

With that said, there are some cases where we would not recommend nitrous oxide. For example, if you are pregnant, have congested sinuses (making it difficult to breathe in the gas), are taking certain medications, or have a respiratory disease, you may want to opt out of sedation or choose another method.

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