Dr. Karen Tiwana of Chatham Dental Arts strives to foster an inviting environment for all of her patients in Pittsboro, North Carolina. At the same time, she knows that some of her patients have developed deep-seated fears about visiting the dentist that can make visiting a mentally taxing experience.
Since regular dental cleanings and examinations are critical to your ongoing oral health, the solution is not to avoid making appointments. Instead, Dr. Tiwana is proud to offer sedation dentistry to her anxious patients in Pittsboro to help them get through their appointments — from cleanings to dental bridges to tooth extractions. She uses nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, to provide light but effective sedation.
Are You a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Nitrous oxide is a safe and efficient drug for most patients, including children. It was first used over 200 years ago and remains one of the most commonly used types of anesthetics.
Dr. Tiwana reviews the medical history of each patient to confirm that they are a good candidate for sedative dentistry. Certain conditions like respiratory illness, vitamin B-12 deficiency and pregnancy may preclude you from using nitrous oxide.
What Are the Benefits of Nitrous Oxide?
Beyond the obvious benefit of keeping you relaxed during dental appointments, nitrous oxide may also help you sit through long procedures (this is especially important for restorative dental procedures). If nitrous oxide allows you to get dental work done in a single appointment rather than many appointments, you may save both time and money.
Some forms of sedation dentistry involve shots or IVs to administer the sedatives. Patients generally prefer being able to receive this sedative by simply breathing normally.
What Is a Procedure with Nitrous Oxide Like?
Dr. Tiwana places a mask over your face so that you may breathe in the nitrous oxide. The gas has a pleasant, slightly sweet taste and smell. Within a few minutes, a strong feeling of calmness should overcome your body. You may also notice some tingling and lightheadedness. In addition to reducing anxiety, it also limits any pain or discomfort you might otherwise experience during the procedure.
You will remain conscious throughout your appointment. This allows you to communicate with Dr. Tiwana as necessary and to respond to her requests (such as “open wider” or “spit”).
What Kind of Results Can You Expect from Sedation Dentistry?
Dr. Tiwana provides the same outstanding care to her patients whether they are under sedation or not. You can expect to have a healthier, whiter mouth after your visit and, ideally, less anxiety about returning in the future for regular appointments.
Unlike other forms of sedation, the effects are temporary. Approximately five minutes after the mask comes off, you should no longer feel under the influence of a sedative. This makes it safe for you to drive yourself home following your treatment. You do not need to worry about the “hangover” effects common with other types of sedatives.
Ask Dr. Tiwana about Sedation Dentistry
Postponing dentist appointments is a surefire recipe for needing additional, more comprehensive care in the future. If your fear of the dentist is holding you back from maintaining a healthy mouth, please ask Chatham Dental Arts for more information about sedation dentistry; we are here to help! Reach our Pittsboro office at (919) 542-4911.