If dental anxiety interferes with your willingness to have treatment, a happy gas dentist who can administer inhalation sedation could make a world of difference to your dental health.
What Is A Happy Gas Dentist?
Even if the name fails to crack a smile, you’ll be pleased to know that the sedative your dentist administers to you is laughing gas or nitrous oxide. Its purpose is to relax you and relieve you of anxiety.
You will still need a local anaesthetic so that the area the dentist is working on is numb, but by the time the anaesthetic is administered you should be so relaxed that it doesn’t bother you at all.
Inhalation is one type of sedation dentistry, and nitrous oxide delivers the minimum level of sedation that can be achieved. Sedation is focused on your comfort as the patient, and sedatives can be administered in different forms, depending on the level of sedation that is required.
Contrary to its informal title of sleep dentistry, you are not actually sleeping -unless you have deep sedation under general anaesthetic- but you are rather in a state of deep relaxation and sometimes even drowsiness.
What Are The Benefits Of Happy Gas for Dental Patients?
Happy gas is quick-acting
Nitrous oxide takes effect in around 5 minutes, and wears off afterwards just as quickly.
Happy gas is safe
In use in dentist rooms around the world for many decades, happy gas has proven to be safe and versatile, making it suitable for a wide range of dental treatments and procedures.
You are still awake and conscious
Even though you are deeply relaxed, you are still awake and can respond to instructions from your dentist during the procedure.
Who Can Benefit From Sedation Dentistry?
Anyone who has a fear, anxiety or phobia about visiting their dentist, needles, injections or medical environments could benefit from inhalation dentistry.
Patients who are going to have long or complex dental procedures may also benefit.
Laughing Gas For Children’s Dentistry
Laughing gas is suitable for use in children and it is commonly used for kids’ dental treatments because they often battle to sit still. It helps with pain management and relaxation.
How Is Laughing Gas Administered?
Inhalation sedation or nitrous oxide is administered by your dentist holding a mask over your mouth and nose and you inhaling the gas. Your dentist will probably ask you a few questions after a couple of minutes to make sure your desired level of sedation has been achieved before proceeding with your treatment. Some people feel a bit light headed or experience tingling in their arms as the gas starts to take effect.
It is a good idea to have a test run before your actual treatment takes place, so that your dentist knows what sort of level you need to achieve. In the event that you do need more, it is relatively easy for your dentist to give you a top-up. The effects typically only last for five to ten minutes so it is likely you will need a top up during your dental treatment.
Your dentist will monitor your oxygen levels during your treatment, and will administer some oxygen to you after the effects of the nitrous oxide wear off. This oxygen will help to get rid of any gas left in your body and will ensure you do not have a headache afterwards.
How Do You Prepare For Inhalation Sedation?
It is recommended that you have nitrous oxide on an empty stomach and you should only have a light meal no more than three hours before your treatment. This is because there is a possibility of nausea and vomiting if there is a lot of food in your system. You should also avoid eating a heavy meal for a few hours after your treatment.
Because the gas wears off quickly, most patients are able to drive themselves home.
Sleep Dentistry For Anxious Patients
At Piazza Dental we are proud to offer our patients sleep dentistry services that include inhalation and IV sedation for more complex procedures. Your comfort is our priority and we would be happy to discuss your needs personally. Please contact our practice to speak to a happy gas dentist: (02) 9476 1211