Fear is the most common reason why patients avoid visiting the dentist on a long-term basis and in some circumstances only ever consult a dental professional if they are in serious pain. However, even patients who consider preventive care to be important, and so do not necessarily avoid visiting the dentist despite their fears, favour approaches to treatment that require as little involvement in dental procedures as possible without the risk of unforeseeable consequences as the day progresses.
Nitrous oxide meets these criteria perfectly. It is part of a group of light sedatives that can be titrated, is administered through inhalation, and results in a trance-like state. The patient nevertheless retains control over the situation at all times, with their respiratory and circulatory function not subject to regulation. Nitrous oxide can be used during removal of wisdom teeth, in implantology, in periodontal therapy, during professional teeth cleaning, and for all anxious children and adults who could generally also be treated using local anaesthetic.
Due to its low solubility in blood and its direct effect on the central nervous system, it causes the patient to become calm and relaxed, is easy to use, is economically efficient, and must always be combined with local anaesthetic due to its limited analgesic impact. Monitoring by an anaesthesiologist is not required in this case. During sedation with nitrous oxide, verification on an ongoing basis of the arterial partial oxygen pressure as part of pulse oximetry, is, however, always recommended.