Boroondara Dentistry Clinic

Dental Anxiety: How Nitrous Oxide (Happy Gas) Can Help

One in seven Australians suffer from high levels of dental anxiety. Dental anxiety can be caused by past experiences or a fear of pain and discomfort from being in a clinical office. There are several ways to reduce this anxiety – one of the most popular is nitrous oxide, better known as happy gas. Nitrous oxide can help patients relax and reduce the pain or stress commonly associated with a trip to the dentist.

This article looks at dental anxiety and how nitrous oxide can help soothe patients who struggle following up on dental hygiene. Contact the Boroondara Family Dentists clinic for more information about how nitrous oxide can help your experience at the dentist.

A Brief Explanation Of Dental Anxiety

One in three Australians with dental anxiety will delay or even entirely avoid visiting the dentist, regardless of any pain they may be experiencing. This debilitating anxiety disorder can increase poor hygiene practices and pain from broken or decaying teeth.

In order to bring this concerning statistic down, dental offices need to address the anxiety their patients may feel. Treating this anxiety involves managing the relationship between a patient and their dentist. Dental clinics aware of general anxiety surrounding dental visits can address it when taking on new clients, whether in their paperwork or just during an initial consultation.

By providing options to relieve this anxiety during a visit, patients are more likely to visit for their scheduled check-ups. Creating a calm environment, having music, and allowing accommodations for patients who suffer from anxiety are all great tools for a smoother visit. Another tool patients can utilise when they are experiencing anxiety is nitrous oxide. The happy gas can help patients relax and dull their senses, so they feel less pain.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that can safely and quickly manage the pain or anxiety of a patient during treatment. It has no smell and is fitted to the patient via a small mask over the nose. It only takes a few minutes to take effect before they relax and sink into the chair, allowing the dentist to do any required work without worrying about how the patient is feeling.

It works by slowing down your nervous system and helping your body fully relax. When you breathe in the gas, it replaces the oxygen in your lungs to dull your body and nerves. The lowered oxygen reduces the feeling of pain and helps your body produce a sense of euphoria.

This relief option is an excellent alternative for those that fear needles, medical spaces, or have trauma surrounding dentistry and oral hygiene. It’s also great for those that have a sensitive gag reflex and impatient younger patients who may not be able to sit still for a long time.

Why Should Happy Gas Be Used?

Nitrous oxide is the preferred sedative dentists use as it is safe and easy to track a patient’s reaction to the gas. Once the mask is off, the effects wear off quickly, making it easy to remove if there are any complications.

Comfort is a core aspect of a dental visit. Not many patients equate comfort with a dental office – anxiety plays a large part in this relationship. This is why happy gas is a great option for those visits where you need extra support in managing that anxiety.

Because your nerves are dulled, time feels like it is moving quicker – another benefit. Whether you get restless sitting in the chair or stress taking your children for their annual cleaning because they struggle to stay put, nitrous oxide can help.

Conquer Your Dental Anxiety Today With Nitrous Oxide

At Boroondara Family Dentist, we know how stressful a visit to the dentist can be; that’s why our team is here to help. All of our services can have nitrous oxide added to reduce your anxiety and pain if that’s something you’d be interested in.

Anxiety and fear can drive us to avoid things we shouldn’t – including dentist visits. If nitrous oxide seems like it would benefit your next trip to the dentist, contact Boroondara Family Dentist today, and our friendly team can help you find the coping tools for your next checkup.


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