Do you know the biggest reason why people pay no heed to oral health? It is the anxiety and phobia of sitting in the dentist’s chair. Many people have confessed to being afraid of visiting the dentist, irrespective of their age. Fortunately, we now have technological advancements like sleep dentistry to address this condition.
Keep reading to know more about laughing gas, that makes visiting the sleep dentist easier for many patients.
What is laughing gas?
Laughing gas is nitrous oxide. It is used for sedating dental patients without using any needles. Nitrous oxide is known for producing a giddy or euphoric feeling in patients once they inhale it and hence is also called happy gas. It is one of the easiest forms of sedation used in sleep dentistry. It is useful to make people feel relaxed throughout a dental procedure and have no painful experiences afterwards.
What is the process of laughing gas sleep dentistry?
The process of laughing gas sleep dentistry is simpler as compared to other forms of sedation and it is as follows:
1. Preliminary investigation
The preliminary investigation for laughing gas sleep dentistry comprises filling a medical history form and an informal interview for the same. Our dentists at Healthy Smiles prefer asking questions about a person’s medical history before proceeding with any form of sedation. It helps determine basic details such as if a patient is allergic to the medicines used, or if the person has had any respiratory diseases, etc.
2. Laughing gas sedation
A combination of laughing gas and oxygen is delivered to the patient through a safe porter system. It helps achieve a mild form of sedation and analgesia. Nitrous oxide is a faster sedative than methods including anaesthesia. Laughing gas makes patients feel lightheaded and happy. The patient experiences gradually falling into sleep after inhaling nitrous oxide. The different phases of laughing gas sedation can be:
- A tingling sensation, especially in limbs.
- Warm sensations quickly follow the tingling.
- A state of euphoria and/or floating may occur after the warm sensations.
- A deep state of sedation often with difficulty to keep one’s eyes open.
These phases depend on the concentration and the length of administration of laughing gas.
3. Dental surgery
Once the patient has reached the required state of sedation, dentists can start with their dental treatment. Various dental surgeries can be performed with sleep dentistry. Sedation makes the whole experience a lot easier for the patient as well as the dentists.
The effects of nitrous oxide wear off faster than general anaesthesia. Patients are provided with necessary medicines to help increase recovery and healing after dental surgery.
Am I the right candidate for laughing gas sedation?
Various factors come into play when determining the suitability of a patient for laughing gas sleep dentistry. The most common of them include:
- Age of the patient: Age of the patient is the primary criteria for determining their candidature for sleep dentistry as aging can sometimes bring conditions that are unsuitable for sedation. Generally, our dentists treat children above age 12 with laughing gas sleep dentistry.
- Respiratory diseases: Since this form of sedation is based on inhalation, people suffering from respiratory diseases might face certain challenges and are advised to opt for other forms of sedation.
- Needle phobia: If you have a dreadful experience taking shots, needles aren’t your thing. And laughing gas sleep dentistry can be the right option for you as it does not involve needles.
- Can handle a mask: There are cases where people experience uneasiness while wearing a mask. It may not be because of respiratory diseases either. But since laughing gas is delivered using a mask, such people are not the best candidates for this form of sedation.
Laughing gas sleep dentistry is an advanced and easy option for helping people overcome dental anxiety and take care of their dental health. The suitability for this form of sedation varies from person to person. Hence, it is advisable to consult your dentist before selecting any form of sedation dentistry.
To know more about laughing gas sedation and whether you are a candidate for it, contact our Blackburn dentist at Healthy Smiles Dental Group. You can drop by our clinic during work hours or call us on 03 9877 2035 to book an appointment.