Dental anxiety and fear is a very real condition that many patients face when considering a visit to the dentist. Dr. Richard Evans and the team here at Summit Dental La Mesa recognize this. We want to make every dental visit as comfortable for patients as possible, so that any fear they have of the dentist can be put to rest. This is just one reason why we offer Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation options to patients visiting our La Mesa, CA office.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is completely safe and has been shown to be incredibly effective in providing our patients with a comfortable and relaxing dental experience. Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is mixed with oxygen, and is then delivered to the patient via a mask that fits comfortably over the nose so it can be inhaled.

Nitrous oxide is not intended to put a patient to sleep. Instead, it relaxes the patient while leaving them conscious so they can hear and react to any requests or directions that Dr. Evans or team members may have during a procedure. Breathing normally, you will inhale the gas through your nose, and, within the span of minutes, you should feel relaxation begin to take over. You could experience some light-headedness and tingling through your arms and legs, but ultimately you will feel a comforting calmness take over. The effects of any nitrous oxide should wear off shortly after the mask is removed.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?

Nitrous oxide has been proven to be incredibly safe for our patients. We have you breathe in oxygen for 3 minutes before and after treatment.  95% of patients feel back to normal at the end of treatment.  Not only is it very safe, but it offers several wonderful benefits that patients really appreciate about this sedation method.

  • It is relatively fast acting, reaching the brain within 20 seconds and taking effect within just a few minutes.
  • The amount of nitrous oxide used is tailored to the patient’s specific needs. There is no set duration or amount used. The machine is switched on and off as needed preventing accidental overdosing.
  • There are no after or side-effects of nitrous oxide. Since the gas is eliminated within a short time, recovery time is incredibly short.
  • Most patients will be able to drive themselves home without an escort after nitrous oxide sedation.

Oral Sedation

If you suffer from dental phobia at just the thought of visiting the dentist and the instruments that may be used for treatment, then you should inquire about oral sedation options. There are many reasons our patients ask about oral sedation including dental phobias or the need for invasive dental surgery. Oral sedation is completely safe and effective. You will need to let Dr. Evans, or his team members, know about your interest in oral sedation.  We will then specifically review your medical history for sedation to make sure it is a good fit for you and that you will not have any side-effects from the medication used. If you are a good candidate, you will be given a dose of the medication to take the night before your procedure and then you will take a second dose about an hour prior to your procedure. We can even titrate the dosage in the office if needed to ensure your comfort.  Oral sedation will require that somebody bring you to your appointment and take you directly home afterwards because sedation does take some time to completely recover from it.