Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Also known as “happy gas”, nitrous oxide sedation involves the use of a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which is breathed in through a small nosepiece. Nitrous oxide has a pleasant smell and taste, so is very well tolerated.
Who Is Suitable For Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
Inhalation sedation is best for patients with mild-moderate anxiety who can tolerate wearing a small mask over their nose. It is suitable for both children and adults, and is ideal for dental procedures that require local anaesthesia such as fillings, crowns, tooth extractions and deep scaling. Nitrous oxide sedation is also beneficial in patients with very sensitive teeth as it reduces the associated anxiety or fear that their tooth sensitivity can generate.
What Effect Does Nitrous Oxide Sedation Have?
The effects of nitrous oxide sedation includes altered consciousness (feeling different), deep relaxation (less anxiety), and relative analgesia (a reduction in pain sensation). Due to these effects, dental procedures that require a local anaesthetic injection are usually well tolerated and are generally quite comfortable. During the procedure patients remains conscious, they can swallow as necessary, and are able to communicate easily, allowing them to remain in control of their treatment. The effects of the sedation typically come on gradually, and at the end of the appointment the effects usually wear off within 10mins. This allows patients to drive themselves home afterwards, which is an advantage over oral sedation or treatment in hospital. Nitrous oxide sedation also has the added benefit of reducing the gag reflex.
Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Suitable For Everyone?
Nitrous oxide sedation is suitable for both children and adults. However, it is contra-indicated in pregnancy, and in those who cannot breathe well through their nose (ie. a blocked nose due to structural obstruction, severe cold or hay fever). Nitrous oxide can have a different effect on different people, and unfortunately there are a small number of patients for whom it does not work, or has very little effect.
Does Nitrous Oxide Sedation Interfere With My Usual Medication?
Before your procedure we will take a thorough medical history, and may liase with your medical practitioner if necessary. Nitrous oxide sedation is very safe and has minimal interaction with regular medications such as heart medications, antibiotics, pain relief medication, or antidepressants.
This alternative form of sedation involves taking an anti-anxiety medication approximately 1 hour before the procedure. This medication makes patients feel calm and very relaxed, and can greatly reduce the perception of pain. These medications may also have an amnesiac effect, meaning that patients often won’t remember much about their procedure, resulting in a positive treatment experience. Due to the longer lasting effects of these medications, you will need someone to accompany you to and from your appointment, and stay with you for a short time afterwards, until the effects of the medication have worn off. Your dentist can discuss this option with you in detail at your consultation, and if deemed appropriate, you will be given a script and clear usage instructions for the medication at this time.
Cost Of Nitrous Oxide Sedation
The fee charged for the provision of nitrous oxide sedation is based on the treatment duration and the overall complexity of management. You will be provided with a fee estimate at your consultation. Please note that inhalation sedation treatment can be claimed through most private health insurance companies, which reduces the out-of-pocket costs of sedation.
Dr. Katya Buc and the associate dentists and hygienists at Smile Style Dental have many years of combined experience using these sedation techniques, and would be more than happy to discuss which technique would be suitable for you or your child.