In addition to helping anxious patients tolerate dental treatment, nitrous oxide also helps to reduce discomfort or pain. In some cases, the use of nitrous oxide allows the dentist to avoid using local anesthetic where it would otherwise be needed.
Some dental treatment requires the use of local anesthesia (some people know this as “novocaine” which is no longer used). We make every effort to administer local anesthetics in a slow and gentle manner, thus eliminating any pain that may accompany dental treatment. The duration of numbness after treatment varies from patient to patient and depends on what type of local anesthetic that was used. Generally the numbness wears off after two to three hours. Parents must be careful to distract their children from chewing or biting of their lips, cheeks and/or tongue in order to avoid post-operative injury.