Nitrous Oxide During Your Dental Visit: What to Expect

It’s fairly normal for people to feel a little nervous when they visit the dentist in Newport Beach. In fact research has shown that as many as 75% of adults suffer from some form of dental anxiety. Another 10% suffer from extreme dental anxiety that is so severe, it’s classified as dental phobia. Severe phobia or even moderate dental anxiety often leads to avoiding dental appointments altogether, which only leads to worsening in any existing dental conditions.

Health and Financial Effects of Dental Anxiety

When dental care is avoided, it can increase the amount of treatment required because conditions become more advanced and invasive to those teeth. For instance, a small cavity may evolve into an abscessed tooth. This situation leads to the need for more extensive procedures that typically cost more and take longer to complete.

While we encouraged routine dental care to ensure all concerns are addressed as early as possible, sometimes life gets in the way and more involved treatments are necessary. These longer appointments can lead to some anxiety regarding the procedure, which is completely normal. Thankfully, Dr. Yazdan can take extra steps to ensure your comfort.

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Why Do People Have Dental Anxiety?

Dental phobia or anxiety can be triggered by many things. Typically, a fear of potential pain during a dental visit or the unknown are common reasons for heightened anxieties. Oftentimes patients with severe dental anxiety have gone through a traumatic past experience or encounter with a dentist.  Many patients also report feeling like they are not in control at their dental appointment or have a sensitive gag reflex, which can understandably make it more challenging to sit back in a dental chair.

Simple Solutions for Comfortable Dental Visits

While its perfectly normal to get anxious about seeing a Newport Beach dentist, there are fantastic options that can help make your visit a comfortable one. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is just one of them.

Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative, mixed with oxygen administered by Dr. Yazdan during your appointment. It’s inhaled through a soft nosepiece. The results provide quick relaxation that allow our patients to enjoy a stress free and pain free dental appointment; it’s also helpful for people with sensitive gag reflexes. When using nitrous oxide, you do not fall asleep; rather you’ll be in a relaxed and calmed state. You can still able answer any questions Dr. Yazdan may ask during the procedure and are able to follow any easy directions during the appointment. Many patients describe that they feel as if they’ve had a couple of glasses of wine when they have nitrous oxide. The effects of nitrous oxide begin to work within minutes and will also wear off very quickly. This offers a convenient and effective method for pain and anxiety management that enables patients drive themselves home a few minutes after treatment is complete (when the sedative has worn off.) Laughing gas is a great alternative for anyone looking for a sedation dentist, but who doesn’t want to “sleep” or “be put under” during a routine filling or cleaning appointment.

While nitrous oxide is considered very safe and effective there are some patients that should avoid using it. Such as:

  • Those that suffer from phobias related to breathing/claustrophobia
  • Certain psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia
  • Lung conditions such as COPD or other major respiratory illness
  • Severe nasal congestion/obstructions
  • Alcoholics/drug users/anyone in recovery
  • Pregnant women (during their first trimester)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency
  • People with severe egg allergies

For patients that cannot use nitrous oxide due to medical conditions or other circumstances there are other options available that provide similar outcomes. Dr. Yazdan also offers options such as oral and IV sedation, which allow a deeper level of relaxation. Many people choose oral or IV sedation if they require longer or more advanced procedures, as multiple treatments can be combined into one appointment.

Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Right for Me?

While every patient and their circumstance is unique, it’s important to thoroughly review your medical and dental histories with our sedation dentist prior to requesting nitrous oxide during your appointment. If you qualify, laughing gas can usually be added onto your visit upon request.

If you’re nervous about an upcoming dental procedure, or you have had a traumatic experience in the past—to the point you’ve put dental care—we invite you to call The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry in Newport Beach. Dr. Yazdan will meet with you one-on-one to learn more about your concerns and discuss which sedation dentistry option will work best for you. As we help you overcome your dental anxiety, you’ll be empowered to enjoy a healthier smile that’s easier to maintain in the years ahead. Contact us now to reserve an appointment.

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