Dental anxiety is a common experience. Although most folks don’t readily admit it, the truth is, the main reason many people avoid seeing their family dentist is that they have fear of pain. Fortunately, both patient anxiety and pain that may arise during a procedure can be addressed through “sedation dentistry.”

Nitrous oxide — commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a minimal form of sedation dentistry that can dispel the anxiety many patients experience. This is an ideal solution because the patient is awake, but relaxed.

How is Nitrous Oxide used?

  • The patient breathes nitrous oxide together with oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. The gas has a quick-acting relaxation effect. The dentist can control the amount of sedation each patient receives, and the gas tends to wear off quickly.
  • Nitrous Oxide is the only form of sedation which allows the patient the option to drive them-selves home after the procedure. Nitrous Oxide also allows a patient to eat food within a 12-hour period of the procedure — something that is not allowed with other forms of sedation dentistry.
  • Nitrous Oxide can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning, depending on the severity of the anxiety experienced by each individual patient.

Nitrous Oxide may also be appropriate for patients who:

  • have extremely sensitive teeth
  • have an over-active gag reflex
  • have a low threshold for pain
  • have difficulty sitting still during procedures
  • need a large amount of dental work completed

Children are sometimes given Nitrous Oxide if they have fear of going to the dentist or if they are unable to sit still during dental visits. It is an effective solution to calm those who might prolong or impede necessary dental procedures.

The staff at Distinctive Dentistry is specially trained to administer nitrous oxide. We use state of the art equipment to ensure you have cutting edge expertise you can trust. Our office is located just off the freeway in Fife, WA. We serve patients in the greater Tacoma area including Gig Harbor, Federal Way and Puyallup. Dr. Keith Phillips has over 25 years’ experience in sedation dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry and Prosthodontics.