Anxiety and the profession of dentistry go hand in hand for many people – we at OMSH understand this completely. It can be scary to sit in an exam chair, to find yourself in a clinical setting. Even little kids have a tendency to get worked up sometimes when entering a clinical setting. Fortunately, we have a very helpful tool at our disposal to help our patients relax and have a pleasant experience during procedures – nitrous oxide.
What is nitrous oxide?
Nitrous oxide, often called by the familiar name of “laughing gas”, is a mild anesthetic that we administer through a facemask we place over your nose. The mixture that hits your nostrils is actually a carefully controlled combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen intended to let you experience the effects of the gas while keeping you comfortable and safe.
People often experience a feeling of warmth and euphoria with nitrous oxide. Generally, you can expect to have a strong feeling of comfort accompanied by an increased sense of humor. Things that would normally seem mundane or boring are many times found very humorous by those who are affected by nitrous oxide. Our trained staff of professionals will monitor your status closely from the moment that we put the mask on, until the end of the procedure to ensure that you are safe and comfortable.
What to Expect During Your Procedure
Well before we begin the process of preparing you for the actual procedure that you have come in for, we will get you set up to receive the laughing gas. This consists of getting you comfortable in the exam chair and fitting you with the mask. We will walk you through every step of the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
Once we begin administering the gas we will allow you some time to just sit and relax. During this time, we may not be immediately by your side; however, we will be preparing for your procedure and monitoring your status. We will ask you how you are feeling to ensure that you feel the effects. This also helps us make certain you are comfortable before beginning the procedure.
Post Procedure Using Laughing Gas
Once the procedure is done we will cut the flow of nitrous oxide to your mask and replace it with a blend comprised mostly of oxygen. One of the best parts of using nitrous oxide as an anesthetic is it is effective while we need it to be and leaves your system quickly. Once we replace the nitrous oxide with oxygen the effects will melt away within minutes.
You are free to sit down in the exam chair or in the waiting room for as long as you need to feel 100% again. Most patients feel right as rain within fifteen minutes or so.
If you are worried about a procedure or just coming in for a checkup we are happy to work with you on a plan to address your anxiety and answer any questions you may have. Often times, we find that just talking with you about what to expect during your visit will go a long way in calming your fears. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or answer any questions you have regarding laughing gas.