How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- On a scale of 1 to 10 you are scared of the dentist a 7 or an 8?
- You are supposed to have some moderately difficult dental treatment done, like a root canal or a tooth extraction or two?
- You haven’t been to the dentist in a while and need a little boost?
- You can handle a feeling a little pressure and hearing some noises so long as you don’t feel any pain?
- You would like to be able to use this method again in the future if necessary?
- You don’t have any serious breathing issues like chronic COPD?
- You like to try and find a way to concur your fear of the dentist… eventually?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you are probably a good candidate for using nitrous oxide gas at the dentist.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then maybe you should either be put to sleep or just stay awake and try to tough it out!
We are a fan of using nitrous oxide gas for those fearful patients who need to a little extra to help calm their nerves down just a bit. There are a lot of favorable things about using nitrous oxide gas, it is safe, effective, easy to administer and not very expensive. And since you are still awake you can start to build up your courage so you don’t have to rely on it for all future visits. It also works well for semi-cooperative children who allow their dentist to hook them up to the gas when requiring more difficult treatments.
If you can’t handle feeling or hearing anything at all while at the dentist, then it is doubtful that nitrous oxide gas alone will get the job done. You probably should consider either deeper sedation techniques and actually being put to sleep or try combining the nitrous oxide gas with a sedative pre-medication such as a Valium to increase the level of your sedation. If you are having all four of your wisdom teeth removed or placing a handful of dental implants along with extractions, then nitrous oxide gas alone may not be enough to get you through these visits. There will be a lot of drilling and pulling going on here and even the bravest patients will need some type of sedation. You might just end up being better off going with a higher level of sedation for these particularly challenging procedures.