nitrous oxideNitrous Oxide

Does the thought of going to the dentist make you nervous? This is quite common in our society but, for many individuals, nervousness regarding a dental visit becomes overwhelming and even can manifest into outright fear or phobia. This is generally known as dental anxiety, and it affects 9 to 15 percent of Americans, according to studies.

What if there was an easier, more relaxing way of getting the dental treatments that you need, without feeling so anxious?

There is, with nitrous oxide!

The dangers of waiting until you feel pain before going to the dentist

Going to the dentist on a regular basis is important. The American Dental Association recommends each person visits twice a year for a professional cleaning and examination. However, some individuals especially those with periodontitis or other ongoing oral health concerns, may require more frequent visits. Individuals with dental anxiety who avoid this regular care see their oral health suffer as a result. Over time, these oral health issues even can negatively impact your overall health.

Ignoring your oral health can lead to the following:

  • Tooth decay that results in infected teeth
  • Periodontitis
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Loose teeth
  • Lost teeth (extracted teeth as a result of poor oral health)
  • Heart disease
  • Cognitive decline
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight in babies

Who is a candidate for nitrous oxide?

If you or a member of your family has dental anxiety, Triangle Periodontics can help by using nitrous oxide as a mild form of sedation dentistry.

We also can use nitrous oxide on patients with pre-existing issues such as the following:

  • Jaw discomfort
  • Problems controlling muscles for an extended period of time
  • Highly sensitive gag reflex

Nitrous oxide also can be a good option for patients who require several lengthy procedures.

Nitrous oxide – how it works

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has been used for years in dentistry. Nitrous oxide is administered through a mask that covers the nose. As you breathe nitrous oxide, you will remain awake the entire time throughout your procedure, and you will be able to communicate to your dental care team. The laughing gas will make you feel calm and relaxed, easing your anxiety.

Is nitrous oxide safe?

Nitrous oxide has been proven safe, even for children, although it should not be used on patients who are pregnant or anyone with an allergy to nitrous oxide. A patient who receives the gas quickly regains his or her full faculties after the flow of gas is cut off, and then replaced with a flow of pure oxygen. After that, you can be well on your way to your normal activities – you can even drive yourself home afterward.

During your consultation with periodontist Dr. Otis Washington, be sure to discuss your complete health history prior to receiving nitrous oxide or any other form of sedation dentistry, so we can determine if you are a candidate for nitrous oxide.

If you believe you require a heftier form of sedation, we also offer IV sedation that results in a deeper state of relaxation.

Want to learn more about sedation dentistry options at Triangle Periodontics? Contact our office at 919-782-9536 to schedule a consultation.

Triangle Periodontics welcomes patients in Apex, Cary, and Raleigh, North Carolina.