Info About Nitrous Oxide Sedation
What is Nitrous Oxide & Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
According to the American Dental Association, “Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless to sweet-smelling inorganic gas that was first used in surgical and dental anesthesia in the mid-1800s. Today, the combination of inhaled nitrous oxide and oxygen, when used appropriately, can be a safe and effective means of managing pain and anxiety in dentistry.” Frequently, its use in dentistry is also referred to as “conscious sedation,” “relative analgesia,” or “nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation.”
Furthermore, ADA notes that “inhalational anesthetics, including nitrous oxide-oxygen, are absorbed and distributed as the result of pressure gradients in the lungs and equilibrate when the tension of inspired gas equals that in alveoli, blood, and tissues. Gases that have low solubility in blood and adipose tissue, such as nitrous oxide, will achieve blood tension and equilibrate more rapidly; this provides the driving force for inhalation agents to enter the brain, where anesthetic action occurs.”
Benefit of Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide sedation is widely used for conscious sedation in dental offices like City Dental Centers. It can have benefits for patients who experience dental anxiety or are medically compromised and gain from the oxygen enrichment and stress reduction. Additionally, it is easy to administer and relatively inexpensive when compared to other sedation options.
Nitrous oxide is a great solution for patients who experience dental fear or anxiety. Putting off a cleaning or dental procedure can be detrimental to your teeth in the long run, so this option is great to help curb fears and anxieties associated with the dentist. Over time, it can help create a sense of peace about going to the dentist, and regular appointments can be scheduled.
Nitrous oxide is safe and easy to administer. It is inhaled through a mask, so there is no need for medication beforehand, an IV, or another invasive procedure. The gas itself is also tasteless and odorless. The only additional precaution is the patient will need to be driven home by a friend or family member. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly. Once it is no longer being administered, the patient returns to a normal state of awareness within minutes.
Nitrous oxide is safe and effective for patients of all ages. It’s a great solution for children or patients with special needs and a great option for patients who might otherwise struggle to remain calm and follow directions for a procedure.
Further Information About Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide has the fastest onset among inhalation agents and is transported in the blood as free gas. Additionally, Nitrous oxide does not combine with hemoglobin, and it does not undergo biotransformation. Systemic elimination occurs with pulmonary exhalation; its low solubility allows nitrous oxide to be removed rapidly from the body. Inhaled nitrous oxide-oxygen, when used in combination with a sedative agent, may produce minimal, moderate, or deep sedation, or general anesthesia.