Maryville and Knoxville, TN
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is used by your Maryville family dentists at Crestview Dental Care to provide a light form of sedation dentistry for patients who suffer from high levels of anxiety or fear that make them avoid going to the dentist or have a pre-existing condition that makes it difficult to receive dental care.
How does nitrous oxide work?
Nitrous oxide is a colorless, almost odorless gas that is combined with oxygen, and then administered to you through a small mask that covers your nose.
Within just a few minutes, you will notice its effects:
- Mild tingling in your hands and feet
- Warm sensations throughout your body
- The feeling of drifting or floating
- A disconnection from what is going on around you
- A dreamlike state
You remain conscious and can have conversations with your dentist or anyone else around you, but you will feel relaxed. Any fear or nervousness will be eased, making you feel more comfortable during your dental treatment. The more deeply you breathe through your nose, the more you’ll feel the effects of nitrous oxide. We can also adjust the levels to make you more comfortable. Your normal reflexes will all be intact, and you will be able to communicate with us during your treatment. Nitrous oxide is not a replacement for a local anesthetic; the area in your mouth that will be affected by the treatment will still need to be numbed.
When we turn off the flow of the gas, you will receive pure oxygen through your mask, helping the effects of the nitrous to subside quickly within a few minutes. You can safely drive after your dental appointment.
Can nitrous oxide be used for my child’s appointment?
Nitrous oxide has been proven safe and effective for patients of almost any age, including children. However, nausea is an occasional side effect of nitrous oxide in children. If you anticipate that your child will need nitrous oxide for an upcoming dental appointment, please make sure that they have little or no food on their stomach prior to treatment. You also should make our staff aware if your child is prone to motion sickness, or has a respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult, as well as providing a list of any medications that he or she is taking.
Can I benefit from sedation dentistry?
It’s estimated that 9 to 15 percent of Americans suffer from a condition called dental anxiety. For these people, just thinking about a dental visit provokes feelings of extreme anxiety or fear—even outright terror. Sedation through nitrous oxide makes it possible for these individuals to receive the dental care they need.
Nitrous oxide also helps increase your tolerance for lengthy dental procedures and can benefit patients with certain pre-existing conditions that make it difficult to remain in the dental chair for an extended period of time.
These conditions may include:
- Jaw discomfort, or a difficulty keeping your mouth open for a prolonged amount of time
- Difficulty controlling your muscles
- A heightened gag reflex
Is nitrous oxide right for me?
There are a few situations where we can’t use nitrous oxide, such as if you are pregnant or have an inner ear infection. Resistance to certain medications or allergies to other sedatives also may disqualify you from being a candidate for nitrous oxide. The best way to determine if you can receive nitrous oxide is to sit down for a consultation with one of the dentists on staff at Crestview Dental Care. Schedule your consultation today by calling (865) 982-1700. We serve patients in the areas of Maryville and Knoxville, Tennessee.