We know coming to the dentist isn’t an exciting visit for many patients. In fact, studies show an estimated 9% to 15% of Americans avoid the dentist because of anxiety and fear, that’s about 30-40 million people.* This leads to gum infections, pain and even broken or missing teeth.
“We have found for patients to overcome their fear of the dentist there are a few key calming tactics that help. First, it helps for them to visit our office for an initial consultation with someone they trust. This allows them to get to know the staff and doctor, tour the facility and get an understanding of what will take place on their next visit. Second, there are a number of techniques dentists use to distract the patient while they are receiving treatment. We find this works with wireless headphones and monitors, so patients may listen to their favorite music or watch a move. And finally, if that doesn’t do the trick, we recommend the use of nitrous oxide to calm their nerves,” says, Dr. Espinosa.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous Oxide is a medication or sedation agent that has been used for many years to ease the anxiety of dental patients. It’s a mix of nitrogen and oxygen, which is inhaled through a mask. Often called laughing gas, this compound helps you relax. It does not put you to sleep, so you are still able to hear and respond to the dentist during treatment.
Initially, you may feel a little light-headed or a tingling feeling in your arms and legs. This means it’s working. You will then feel a sense of calm and comfort, and the dentist or hygienist can go ahead with your treatment. After your procedure, the nitrous oxide levels are reduced to zero. Once the mask is removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide wear off quickly. After a few short moments in the chair, you will be back to your routine activities, including driving and working.
Take a moment to watch this video to see how Nitrous Oxide may help you during your visit to the dentist:
No need to stress about the dentist any longer! Take charge in the New Year and get that smile you have always wanted. At Bonita Del Rey it is our mission to make your visit as comfortable as possible. That’s why we offer free consultations, so you can ease any anxieties before treatment. Call today to schedule your appointment and ask us about using Nitrous Oxide during your next treatment.
*Research from Columbia College of Dental Medicine