How Does Laughing Gas Make You Feel?

April 14th, 2016

How Does Laughing Gas Make You Feel?All the way back in 1772, chemist Joseph Priestley created laughing gas, otherwise known as nitrous oxide. It was soon discovered the gas could relieve pain. But it was not a strong enough sedation to keep people feeling good through major surgeries. That’s why it’s the perfect choice for minor dental treatments and people who have dentist anxiety.

Laughing gas was given its nickname because it makes people feel euphoric, so it’s nothing to be worried about in a dental setting. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how laughing gas might make you feel before you step into the dentist’s office.

How Does Laughing Gas Make You Feel?

Unlike different types of sedation used in surgery, laughing gas isn’t very intense. The right dosage will likely make you feel euphoric, lightheaded, tingling and warm, and it will reduce the amount of pain you feel. Since laughing gas makes you so happy, it can also make you laugh more easily (thus the name). Most importantly, laughing gas makes you feel relaxed so that you can have a comfortable dental experience. Typically, you start feeling these sensations a few seconds after you inhale laughing gas.

What Exactly is Laughing Gas?

So what exactly makes you feel this way? After all, you don’t really want to be deeply inhaling a gas you know nothing about. Like we said earlier, laughing gas is technically known as nitrous oxide. The gas we dentists use is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. It’s proven to be safe when used for the short amount of time you’ll be sitting in the dentist chair.
Nitrous oxide is known to depress your senses, like hearing, touch and pain. This is perfect for when you're receiving dental treatments. You won’t have to hear or feel any scraping or drilling and can relax until we’ve fixed up your teeth.
As long as your dentist doesn’t give you too much, you should feel pleasant and happy sensations. You’ll know if your dentist has given you too much if you start falling asleep and/or feeling nauseous. If you do start feeling these unpleasant sensations, simply let your dentist know or take off your mask. When you take off your mask, all of the sensations will subside.

How is it Administered at the Dentist and What is it Used For?

When you’re receiving laughing gas in the dentist chair, you will almost always be wearing a mask. This mask is connected to a supply of compressed gases, which flow through tubes to your mask and mouth. Your dentist will be carefully watching the gauges to make sure you are receiving the correct amount of gas. At Water Tower Dental Care, we do this almost every day, so we’re experts.
Here at our offices, we typically use sedation dentistry to treat people who match the following descriptions:

  • Have a sensitive gag reflex
  • Are anxious or afraid of dental treatments and/or instruments
  • Don’t get numb from local anesthetics
  • Experience health issues, including neck and back pain, while they are sitting in the dentist’s chair.

You should never skip out on visiting the dentist because you’re anxious or experience any of the issues above. If you’re feeling worried about seeing us, please contact us! We would love to help you have the most comfortable dental experience ever with laughing gas, or another oral sedative.

Dental Phobia: 8 Helpful Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

January 8th, 2015

Dental Phobia: 8 Helpful Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of the DentistMany people have serious phobias of doctors and dentists. Often it comes from past experiences that might not have gone over so well. Other times the fear lacks reason. Either way, there are ways to overcome the fear of the dentist so you can commit yourself to appointments and make sure your teeth are in great health.

The first step to overcoming your fear is to understand that it is a common issue. Popular culture often eludes and overcompensates the actual job of a dentist, giving him or her a crazed look and pliers too big for your mouth. It’s the wrong image of what are actually, caring and gentle doctors that want to help and make you feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Once you lose that mentality and understand that a dentist will be as gentle as possible, then you can already start to feel a little safer. Here are eight tips to help make visiting the dentist relaxing and lose your fear of the dentist.

Make an Appointment at a Stress-Free Time

Stress is a major factor that can make your fear of the dentist escalate. Find a date for an appointment that isn’t surrounded with other stressful activities. Consider taking the day off of work, or scheduling around a slower time of the month. Making an appointment during the holiday season or a day before you leave for a European vacation is not the best time for your stress and fear.

Don’t Arrive Too Early

Sitting in a crowded waiting room listening to ominous sounds coming from the dentist’s chair will not help your fear. Try to arrive close to the time of your appointment so you don’t need to spend as much time waiting. It can also help to bring a friend or loved one with you that can sit with you in the waiting room and offer their support.

Have a Conversation With Your Dentist

The best way to alleviate the fear of an “evil” dentist is to talk to them and trust them. This doesn’t need to include a step by step breakdown of what the dentist will be doing to your teeth, but rather, a casual conversation about your day, catching up on a story or two to help you feel comfortable. As well, don’t feel shy about telling your dentist that you have some fears about sitting in the dentist’s chair. Your doctor should be able to help you relax and reassure you that there is nothing to fear.

Bring a Stress Ball

This is a simple way to alleviate fear once you sit down. Squeezing on a stress ball will release your stress and keep you from concentrating too hard on the dentist’s actions.

Bring Headphones

Consider listening to music while in the dentist’s chair. Bring headphones and put on music that relaxes you. This will help keep your mind off of what’s happening.

Practice Meditation Techniques

It helps to practice the techniques that make meditation so relaxing. This includes deep-breathing exercises, clearing the mind, keeping your eyes closed, and focusing on positive energy. This will be especially helpful if you practice beforehand.

Discuss the Procedures With Your Doctor

If you can handle it, talk to your doctor about what exactly is going to happen during the procedure that is being performed. Often, the mind can exaggerate the intensity of the procedure and make it much worse than it actually is.

Talk to Your Dentist About Sedation

If the methods above don’t work for you and you still need a way of coping with the dentist, you can talk to your dentist about sedation techniques that will keep you from feeling anything during your visit. Unless your visit includes a serious surgery, we suggest avoiding this method, as it’s not a long-lasting solution.
Most importantly, it is best to understand that there is nothing to fear about the dentist. At Water Tower Dental Care, our dentists and technicians are caring and highly-trained professionals using the most current and safest technologies available. One visit to our offices and you’ll see, there’s nothing to be worried about. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Water Tower Dental, voted Chicago’s #1 Dentistry.

Overcoming Dental Phobia With Sedation Dentistry

September 12th, 2013

dental sedationWhat Is Sedation Dentistry?

Let's face it, not everyone enjoys the dental office as much as Water Tower Dental. In fact, 5 to 10 percent of adults in the US experience dental phobia. That is to say, they fear the dentist so strongly that they'll avoid the doctor at all costs. In these cases, we like to offer our patients to partake in the practice of Sedation Dentistry: the use of pharmacological agents to relax a patient during their dental examination.

We take our patient's health and well being very seriously. We want them to all have the brightest, healthiest smiles possible, but we understand it can be hard for some of our patients to relax in the dentist's chair for very long. The practice of Sedation Dentistry helps calm a patient's nerves and allows them to stay relaxed while our doctor's care for them.
While there are numerous methods for sedation, Water Tower Dental uses two methods: oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide sedation. Both methods are safe and widely used throughout the dental industry. The difference comes in timing and strength.
Oral conscious sedation is a medication taken orally before your visit to the dentist. While the medication leaves you conscious and able to ask questions, you will have a feeling of complete relaxation. Often patients with oral sedation lose track of time and fall asleep in the dentist's chair from being so relaxed. Because the medication takes time to wear off (typically, effects subside by the following day), it is recommended you have someone to drive you and look after you after visiting the dentist.
Nitrous oxide sedation, also known as laughing gas, is a colorless and odorless gas that is inhaled through the nose while the dentist is able to perform their procedures. The gas makes you feel calm and relaxed, once removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide will subside. This allows you to monitor yourself after treatment and even drive yourself home immediately after the visit.

Do You Need Dental Sedation?

Dental fear and phobia are very common within adults. While 5 to 10 percent of adults in US experience dental phobia, almost 75% of adults in the US harbor some kind of dental fear, from mild to severe. So how do you know if your fear is too much to handle the dentist's chair or if you just need a little courage?
Here are a few signs of dental phobia that can help you know how severe your fear is:

  • The night before the dental exam, you have trouble sleeping.
  • You anxiousness increases while in the dentist's waiting room.
  • The thought of the dental visit makes you physically ill
  • You panic, or your reflexes trigger, when dental instruments are placed in your mouth.
  • You feel emotionally unstable when thinking of the dentist or their instruments.

We also suggest sedation dentistry if:

  • Local anesthetics do not affect you as well
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex
  • You have other health issues, such as bad back or neck that could lead to discomfort in the dentist's chair.

If any of these describe you, there's a very good chance you would benefit from dental sedation. But there's nothing to worry about. Water Tower Dental is the premier dentist in Chicago. We treat each patient with great care. And, if you address your fear and let us know, we can help you overcome the anxiety with the help of sedation dentistry.
If you have more questions, do not be afraid to call and talk with us before committing to an appointment. We would be happy to hear from you.