Did you crack a tooth after biting into an ice cube from your favorite drink? Maybe you were spending time outside playing football with friends, but forgot to wear a mouthguard? Now that your tooth is significantly damaged, you need to visit an emergency dentist right away!
However, if you’ve avoided seeing the dentist because of a dental fear or anxiety, there’s no need to worry. Sedation dentistry can help you get your emergency handled instead of simply putting it off and letting your situation become even worse!
What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
More commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a sedative typically found in dental offices. This form is intended for patients with mild levels of dental anxiety or fear and is administered through a nasal mask. The sedative is technically a mixture of both nitrous oxide and oxygen, so you won’t have to worry about breathing properly during your appointment.
Additionally, the dentist can adjust the amount of nitrous oxide being administered on the fly. This way, they can provide more or less sedative based on your comfort. Nitrous oxide is also fast-acting, so you can become relaxed very quickly. Once treatment is complete, you can drive yourself home without much issue, making it one of the more convenient forms of sedation available.
What is Oral Conscious Sedation?
For those with a moderate level of dental anxiety or fear, you can largely benefit from a stronger sedative known as oral conscious sedation. As the name implies, you’re still awake while the sedation is occurring to allow communication to the dentist during your procedure. The main difference is the sedative is administered through a pill that’s taken prior to your visit.
Keep in mind that oral conscious sedation is a much stronger sedative that requires you planning ahead of your dental appointment. That means you’ll need to have an adult drive you to and from the practice to avoid causing danger to yourself or others around you. You’re also more likely to experience retrograde amnesia, meaning you won’t remember most of the treatment once it’s completed.
How Can it Help With Emergency Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is ideal for emergencies, especially emergencies that require a dental appointment the same day they occurred. Sedation treatments like nitrous oxide can work immediately to provide you relief, regardless of the emergency that occurred.
Whether you’ve broken or fractured a tooth or completely knocked it out, nitrous oxide can help you stay relaxed as the dentist examines your mouth and determines the best treatment plan. Furthermore, if you need to come back for a follow-up treatment to have a crown placed, the dentist can prescribe you an oral conscious sedative for a later date.
Are you experiencing a dental emergency? Don’t hesitate to contact an emergency dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Douglas M. Gordon earned his DDs degree from New York University College of Dentistry. Thanks to his experience providing dental care to members of the Air Force, he’s more than capable of handling dental emergencies when they appear. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact him today to schedule a same-day appointment through his website.