What is Nitrous Oxide in Dentistry?

Dec 16, 2018

Nitrous oxide is a common component of many oral surgeries, but many patients are unaware of the effects of nitrous oxide. You may also be wondering what the uses of nitrous oxide are in dentistry, or whether we use nitrous oxide for children. At Cabrera Dental Associates, we want you to be comfortable and in control of your experience. Let’s review nitrous oxide uses, and conditions under which nitrous oxide should not be used.

Effects of Nitrous Oxide

The patient will be asked to inhale as normal and allow nitrous oxide to take effect. It won’t take long before a strange feeling and itch can be felt in the legs and arms. This is followed by a few more symptoms, including:

  • Slowed speech
  • Loss of balance
  • Slowed response time in answering questions
  • Immunity from pain, noises, or speech
  • A calm, relaxed feeling

Uses of Nitrous Oxide

Dentists use nitrous oxide for a variety of reasons, such as the following:

  • It decreases the chance of a patient feeling anxious
  • It increases the pain threshold of patients
  • It reduces the gag reflex

Nitrous Oxide for Children

Nitrous oxide is safe for children. In fact, it is the preferred method of sedation when a child experiences trauma or is nervous before a dental procedure. When a child needs fillings, extractions, or dental crowns, nitrous oxide is highly suitable. However, that doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. Some children may experience nausea or have a hard time wearing a mask. Therefore, it’s essential to talk with the dentist about different options.

Conditions Under Which Nitrous Oxide Should Not Be Used

Not every situation calls for nitrous oxide. Your dentist should be aware of the following conditions which may disqualify you as a candidate:

  • Having a cobalamin deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Heart failure
  • Bronchitis
  • Ear infections
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency
  • Emotional issues
  • Drug addictions, including past addictions

Get the Best in Care

The best dentists understand your concerns about nitrous oxide and are ready to walk you through any questions that you may have. That’s why Cabrera Dental Associates is an ideal choice. If you’re considering any procedures for which you may need nitrous oxide sedation, you can rest assured that it is extremely safe under most situations. However, you’re encouraged to reach out to your professional, neighborhood dentist at Cabrera Dental Associates to address any questions you may have.