Will Nitrous Oxide Make You Sleep?

September 29, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 7:30 pm
patient getting nitrous oxide and staying awake

When you have dental anxiety, any treatment can seem intimidating. Whatever your reasons for fearing the dentist, being put to sleep may seem like an attractive option; however, hospital-grade anesthesia is overly drastic for most dental procedures.

Nitrous oxide is a much more appropriate sedation option, but will nitrous oxide put you to sleep? The simple answer is no, but it is still worth your consideration. Keep reading to learn more about this milder sedation and another more powerful alternative.

Why You Don’t Need to Be Asleep for Dental Procedures

Although there are some exceptions, your dentist generally prefers to have you awake during dental procedures. That way, you can turn your own head, answer questions, and interact with them. With nitrous oxide and other sedation options, you can be aware enough to respond to the dentist, when necessary, but you can still feel relaxed enough to not mind what is going on around you.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide

Although nitrous oxide does not cause you to sleep, there are plenty of other reasons to get it, including the following:

  • It is gentle and can be used on children.
  • Nitrous oxide takes only a minute or two to take effect.
  • It makes you feel warm and content.
  • The amount can be adjusted, keeping you comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • Once the mask is removed, the effects wear off within several minutes, allowing you to drive yourself home or return to your normal schedule.

Another Sedation Options to Consider

What if you need sedation that’s stronger than nitrous oxide? What if you are going to have treatment that takes hours to complete? Fortunately, you have more options available, namely oral conscious sedation. As the name implies, you remain awake, but this powerful pill puts you in a daze wherein you can still respond to the dentist, but afterward you likely will not recall what happened during the appointment.

Unlike nitrous oxide, this pill is taken beforehand, and a friend or family member drives you to and from the dental office. By the time your appointment begins, you should feel completely relaxed for the next several hours.

Regardless of the type of sedation you receive, you can rest assured that your mind will be at ease throughout your visit, even if you stay awake the whole time. If you are concerned about being comfortable, have an open conversation with your dentist. Together, you can select the option that will best keep you calm and help you get the treatment your smile needs.

About the Practice

At Pioneer Greens Dentistry, Dr. Justin Shirk, Dr. Chris Haag, and Dr. Claire Haag prioritize patient comfort with every visit. To put patients at ease, they have a personalized approach and friendly chair-side manner. For those who struggle with dental anxiety, sedation options, like oral conscious and nitrous oxide, are available. To take advantage of sedation during your next appointment, contact our Lincoln office by calling 402-483-7502 or visiting our Contact Us page here.

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