Downtown Dental Syracuse are pleased to be one of the only Family Dental Practices in the Syracuse area to offer our patients Nitrous Oxide.

Also known as “sweet air” or “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide can be an invaluable tool in delivering optimal dental care to an anxious or phobic patient.  Nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen is inhaled through a nasal mask and is very safe and effective.

What exactly does it do?

• Reduce or eliminate anxiety
• Reduce poor reaction to dental treatment
• Enhance communication and patient cooperation
• Raise the pain reaction threshold – while nitrous cannot replace local anesthesia, (Novocain) it provides and analgesic (pain killing) effect in and of itself!
• Increase tolerance for longer appointments – it can be especially helpful in patients who have a hard time staying open or experience jaw discomfort or tiredness from staying open
• Reduce gagging

Why would I choose this over a pill?

Some of its benefits include:
• Rapid onset – within minutes
• The effects easily are titrated (adjusted so that during the procedure the dose can be changed to make sure a patient isn’t under or overdosed) and reversible
• Recovery is rapid and complete – patients are almost fully back to normal in 5 minutes

When a pill is taken to relieve anxiety, it is ingested as opposed to inhaled, and at that point   metabolism of the drug takes much longer.  Also, there is no ability to titer the dosage.  If a patient is under dosed, it could make for a long appointment.  If a patient is overdosed more significant medical concerns could develop.

Who can use it?

Almost anyone.  There are very few contraindications to its use, which is another testament to its safety.  If is extremely helpful in the pediatric population, but teenagers and adults who are phobic or anxious can benefit from its use as well.  Especially since many children cannot swallow pills, nitrous is an excellent choice for them.

Another great benefit of nitrous oxide is that its use on children over the first few treatment visits can greatly reduce dental phobias overall.  So as they grow, later in life, they are simply less afraid of coming to the dentist.  When they are older, many will outgrow the need for use of nitrous oxide.
If you are interested in the option of Nitrous Oxide please talk to one of our staff members who will be happy to discuss it with you.