Some Fear Of The Dentist? How Inhalation Sedation May Help You

If you have some dental work that needs to be addressed, you may be a little worried about the experience ahead. It's not unusual for patients to experience some trepidation in advance of a visit to the dentist's surgery. However, you may find that a technique known as inhalation sedation may help you. What is this?

Nitrous Oxide

Inhalation sedation refers to the supply of nitrous oxide gas, also known as N2O, which is provided by the dentist's assistant just prior to the procedure. This type of gas is perfectly safe, does not irritate and doesn't smell. After a few minutes of breathing in this gas you will feel more euphoric and relaxed and be somewhat less aware of what the dentist is doing.

The amount of gas that you will be administered is very carefully regulated by both the machines and the dentist so that there is a safe mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide at all times.

You needn't worry about giving up control, as the effects you will feel are more akin to tingling or "warmth" and a general sense of well-being.

How Is It Administered?

The mixture is fed from a machine through a tube and a nasal "hood" is attached to the tube. This hood is placed over your nose and then you breathe in normally. Usually, the mask itself is scented so that you don't get an unpleasant smell of rubber or plastic, but something more palatable such as mint or strawberry.

When the mask is attached you simply breathe in and out normally and the hood is equipped with a way to both deliver the mixture to you and to get rid of the exhaust gas which you will breathe out.

You're in Control

Remember, that you are able to tell the dentist how you feel at all times. If you would like more sedation then the amount of mixture can be gradually increased and vice versa. This makes this type of sedation very different to IV for example, as it can be regulated both ways.

No After-Effects

It is also beneficial as there is no type of "hangover." When the procedure is over and the gas mask has been removed the full effect will disappear within only a few minutes and it's perfectly safe to drive home after the procedure.

An Alternative for You

So the next time that you visit a dentist, especially if you have a phobia to needles, ask for this type of sedation instead.