One of the unavoidable realities of being a dentist is that you have to accept the fact some patients are going to be nervous about receiving treatment. No matter how much we assure you there is nothing to be concerned about, our assurances will not work on everyone.

And trust us…at Rideau Dental Centre; we understand that your discomfort is very real. Whether it is due to a previous uncomfortable experience at the dentist, stories from friends, or just the environment of the office, we get it! And while our assurances will work to calm many of you, some people need a bit more than just words.

For those who struggle with their nerves in the dental chair, we often recommend the use of nitrous oxide to calm you. Many of you may have heard of nitrous as laughing gas. This is due to the fact that the state of mild euphoria it can produce can actually cause people to “get the giggles”.

As it is a compressed gas, it is quite easy to administer. Your dentist will simply put a nasal hood over your nose and allow you to inhale normally. Nitrous oxide, mixed with oxygen, will be released in a slow, controlled fashion and we can then monitor your response to the dosage.

There are a number of advantages to using nitrous oxide. First of all, it takes effect quite quickly. Within 2 or 3 minutes, it could take sufficient effect that you will feel relaxed and able to proceed with your dental treatment.

Almost as importantly, it is eliminated from your body just as quickly. Within 5 minutes of having ceased to receive any gas, there may no longer be any signs of having had it administered.

Use of nitrous oxide can be very flexible to meet the needs of the individual.  For example, the depth of sedation can be altered during the course of treatment if a patient becomes either more or less anxious. This makes it easy for us to control as we determine your specific needs.

It is important to recall that nitrous will not meet the needs of all of our patients all the time. Certain procedures may be better served with other options, such as oral or even intravenous (IV) sedation. We can discuss your options with you depending upon the treatment you require.

The important thing to consider is that you do not have to let your anxieties interfere with good oral health care. You know how important regular visits to your dentist at Rideau Dental Centre are. If you think your discomfort may be causing you to skip some of those important visits, talk to us! Because Nitrous may be just what you need to let us provide the dental care you deserve. And getting the dental care you deserve is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives!

Dr.  Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon