Health x Wellness

National Dental Centre Singapore provides Nitrous Oxide sedation service

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The National Dental Centre Singapore has started its nitrous oxide sedation service for paediatric dental patients in June this year.

Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as “Laughing Gas”, is used to relieve dental treatment anxiety especially amongst young children.

The sedation service helps young patients to relax and cope better with dental procedures while also providing more pain relief.

When properly used, nitrous oxide sedation is generally safer than general anesthesia for complex dental procedures due to its milder nature and is of lower risk to the respiratory system and hemodynamics (blood flow through vessels).

Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and breathed in through a rubber mask placed over the patients’ nose for inhalation. The inhalation of nitrous oxide with oxygen provides a mild form of sedation to help the patient relax as the dentist goes about performing the procedure.

The patient will feel slightly drowsy but remains awake throughout the duration of the procedure.

National Dental Centre Singapore

At the end of the sedation, the patient is provided with 100 percent oxygen for five minutes to help prevent patients from feeling sick or having a headache. The nitrous oxide is fully breathed out of the body after sedation ends, enabling patients’ rapid recovery.

It is a safe and reliable sedation method and offers a lower-risk alternative to General Anaesthesia.

Nitrous oxide sedation for dental treatment at The National Dental Centre Singapore is practiced at the level of minimal sedation and is generally safe and mild. If any, common side effects of nitrous oxide sedation including vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and light-headedness.

To-date, the sedation service has been performed for 24 paediatric patients and the service is expected to be extended to adult patients at NDCS’ Geriatric Special Care Dentistry Clinic in early-2024.

Additional information:

What precautions must the patient take for inhalation sedation?

  • Fasting guidelines: Please ensure the patient’s last meal is a light one at least 3 hours prior to sedation.
  • Regular medications: Please continue to consume any routine medicines as normal. Please also bring along any medicines or inhalers that the patient may need, to the dental visit. If the patient is taking any drugs/food/drinks that slow down brain activity (such as opioids, alcohol) or herbal remedies, please inform your dentist and he/she will advise you accordingly.
  • Clothing: Patients are encouraged to wear loose and comfortable clothing.

What are other options besides Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

  • Treatment without sedation: If patient is apprehensive and does not allow any mode of anaesthesia access, treatment without sedation may be an inevitable option.
  • Treatment under general anaesthesia: If it is not possible for local anaesthesia or sedation to be administered to patient (for example, if sedation is not adequate to allow safe treatment and/or if patient is contraindicated for treatment under sedation), s/he may need to be treated under general anaesthesia.

Information provided by The National Dental Centre Singapore.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay