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Sleep Dentistry

Sedation dentistry & Sleep Dentistry in Hamilton

Dental treatment procedures may sometimes be lengthy or cause agitation in some of the patients, especially if they are younger or disabled. In such cases, dentists suggest using laughing gas. We have a group of professionals specially trained in the use of local and general anesthesia in Ancaster, ready to provide you with a pain and anxiety free dental treatment.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O), also known as laughing and happy gas, belongs to the sleep dentistry category. Other types of sleep dentistry include oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and the familiar laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless, and non-flammable chemical substance. It is used in dental clinics as a mild sedative to relieve pain and anxiety and also to stop patients from gagging. This sedative gas is very safe and easy to administer as it only requires a fitting face mask or a nosepiece to help inhale the gas. Laughing gas also has an immediate effect on the patient, which wears off just as quick without putting them to sleep. These features all make laughing gas a perfect choice for sedation in dental treatment procedures.

Which Patients Need Laughing Gas?

Almost all patients can benefit from the quick calming effects of nitrous oxide; however, it is mainly used for younger patients who get uneasy during lengthy dental procedures, patients with anxiety, and disabled patients who have special health care needs. It can also help in dental treatments that cause gagging reflexes to provide patients with more comfort. Another positive feature of laughing gas is that it can be a perfect alternative for people who do not respond effectively to other forms of anesthesia.

The Advantages of Laughing Gas

Laughing gas is one of the safest and most convenient forms of sedation. It is easy to administer and does not involve any stressful process like an injection; it only requires a mask that you wear for a couple of minutes. The immediate effect of the gas is also another advantage of Nitrous Oxide; 2 to 3 minutes are enough for the anesthetic effect to take effect and for the patient to feel relief and comfort. This gas puts the patients in a state that slows their nervous system to relieve the pain and anxiety but does not make them unresponsive; they can still answer the doctor’s questions and follow instructions. As quickly as it takes effect, after a couple of minutes of breathing oxygen, the patients are back to normal, and the anesthetics fade away. Happy gas also is safe for the brain and other internal organs, causing almost no side effects or adverse effects. And as the name suggests, it makes you happy and relaxed during dental procedures.  

Are There Any Risks Involved?

The depth of sedation with Nitrous Oxide can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of the gas the patient inhales. Therefore, a trained professional should control the administration of this kind of anesthesia. Generally, sedation using laughing gas does not cause any side effects for the patients. Yet, on rare occasions, if they receive high levels of the gas, they may experience headaches, nausea, excessive sweating, shivering, or sleepiness.

After receiving anesthesia with Nitrous Oxide, you will breathe pure oxygen to recover from the effects and to avoid headaches and nausea. Also, it is recommended to avoid having heavy meals for 2 to 3 hours after the procedure, and it is better to ask someone to drive you home for more safety.  Do not forget to consult the different anesthetic options with your dentist before making decisions about your next appointment.

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