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How Nitrous Oxide Sedation Can Keep You Calm during Treatment

Close-up shot of woman’s bright, white smile
Do you feel afraid to come in to the dentist? Perhaps you even reschedule appointment after appointment or delay important treatments. If so, you’re not alone: an estimated 40 million Americans, or about 15 percent of all people, suffer from dental anxiety and phobia. Dr. Andrew Glenn and our team offer a variety of sedation dentistry options to keep you relaxed and comfortable so you can receive the care you need and enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile. These medications can calm your nerves, allowing you to undergo dental procedures more easily. In the following post, we explain how nitrous oxide sedation can help patients at our Lincoln dental practice. 

What Is Nitrous Oxide?

N20, or nitrous oxide, is one of the most popular dental sedatives. It has helped patients through treatments for nearly two centuries. This pleasant-tasting, clear gas creates a relaxing sense of euphoria when inhaled through the nose. It takes effect within minutes and wears off relatively quickly, making it an effective solution for patients who need to undergo treatment and return to regular activity on the same day.

If you opt for nitrous oxide sedation for your treatment, Dr. Glenn will simply place a special mask over your face prior to your procedure. Once the gas permeates your system, you may feel tranquil, tired, and amused. You will remain conscious and able to respond to commands while under the effect of nitrous oxide. Since this medication does not numb your tissue, we often combine nitrous oxide with local anesthesia. Once we have completed your procedure, Dr. Glenn will simply cease the flow of nitrous oxide to your mask. Within a few minutes, you should regain your mental acuity and return to your original state.

Who Can Benefit from Nitrous Oxide? 

Nitrous oxide may be a good sedation option for patients who:

  • Suffer from dental phobia and anxiety.
  • Need to resume normal activities, such as work and school, directly after treatment.
  • Wish to combine multiple dental procedures to save time.
  • Have an oversensitive gag reflex or a medical condition that makes it difficult to sit still in a dental chair.
  • Do not require particularly lengthy or intensive treatment (our other sedation options may be more appropriate in these cases). We frequently recommend nitrous oxide for procedures such as fillings or root canal therapy.

Sedation Alternatives

For less involved procedures or to assist patients who do not suffer from dental phobia and anxiety, Dr. Glenn may simply use local anesthesia. This medication desensitizes a targeted area of tissue, but it does not produce a calming effect. In addition, it must be administered with a needle, which makes some patients uncomfortable.

Dr. Glenn also offers intravenous sedation and general anesthesia for more advanced procedures, such as intensive oral surgery. He administers these medications directly to your bloodstream through a vein. If you choose this type of sedation, you will remain awake during treatment, but more deeply relaxed than with nitrous oxide. Since you may be groggy and disoriented after undergoing intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home and should plan to take the day off of work.

Depending on your needs and preferences, Dr. Glenn may combine nitrous oxide with local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. This treatment option can be helpful for patients with a fear of needles, since he can relax you with nitrous oxide before administering other medications.

Learn More about Nitrous Oxide

To learn more about sedation dentistry or find out if nitrous oxide may be able to help you undergo important dental treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Glenn

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Lincoln Office

Open Today 7:00am-5:00pm All hours

3401 Plantation Dr Ste 100
Lincoln, NE 68516

Directions (402) 421-3401

My anxiety has been through the roof the past 3 weeks but I would have never imagined it could be so easy. Thank you Dr Glenn! He has made the whole experience amazing! If you are looking for a knowledgable, caring and talented surgeon, look no further! Dr. Andrew Glenn is awesome! I have never been a fan of the dentist's office!!!
Wanda Moses
June 2016

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