Living with Dental Anxiety
It’s no secret that many people have some amount of fear and anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. Some people may have had a bad experience in the past, while others might have a fear of the sights and sounds of the dental office. Others may have anxiety that they can't explain.
At Andrew Cohen, D.M.D., we cater to patients who feel this way by taking extra time with each of our patients, providing gentle treatment, and being compassionate with our patients.
Avoiding dental appointments can negatively affect your oral health. Missed appointments, postponed treatment, and infrequent dental cleanings all put your health at risk. You may even find that you develop more serious conditions due to neglect. Periodontal disease, decay, fractured teeth, and infections often lead to unplanned emergencies resulting in greater anxiety, pain, and stress.
If you are avoiding the dentist because you are fearful, there is an option available that can help you relax during treatment. Nitrous oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas,” is a mild sedative that is safe for most patients.
Drs. Cohen and Patel offer sedation with nitrous oxide, with the use of headphones for music and video selections, for patients who need help relaxing. You will remain fully conscious and able to communicate, but will feel a notable level of calmness.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Administered through a small nose mask, nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas. You will experience a calming effect after breathing it in for just a few minutes. We can control the level of sedation throughout your procedure, and once we stop administering it, you will feel normal in just a few minutes.
What Are the Advantages of Nitrous Oxide?
There are many advantages that come with using nitrous oxide, including:
- It works rapidly, with relaxation coming within a few minutes of administration.
- The depth of sedation can easily be altered from moment to moment, with the changes occurring almost immediately.
- Patients will not have residual effects after using the gas because it is eliminated from the body so quickly.
- Patients are safe to drive afterward because the gas clears the system almost immediately.
- There are minimal side effects, with nausea occurring very rarely.
- There are no allergies associated with nitrous oxide.
- Because it calms anxiety, patients may find it easier to get numb when anesthetic is necessary. Anxiety can often delay the effects of local anesthetic.
- It greatly diminishes the “gag” reflex in most patients.