Why didn’t nitrous work on me?

I had heard that sedation dentistry helps you to have pain free appointments.  I have always been afraid of the dentist and therefore avoided it.  I decided to give it a try.  My dentist gave me nitrous oxide, but it did nothing. My appointment was just as painful as ever.  What went wrong?

Elizabeth H. – Virginia

Elizabeth,

I’m sorry for your experience.  If your dentist knew of your dental anxiety, he should have given you a different form of sedation dentistry.

Nitrous Oxide is a mild form of dentistry and only useful for patients with mild anxiety who just need a little something to relax them so the local anesthetic can take its full effect.

If someone has real dental anxiety, what they need is oral consicous sedation.  This is much stronger than nitrous oxide. In fact, with nitrous oxide, you could drive yourself to and from your appointment.  With oral conscious sedation, you will need someone to drive you. You likely won’t even remember the appointment.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Emergency dentist on meth

I woke up this morning with a huge abscess. I’m guessing I need to go to the emergency dentist. I’ve got a probem though.  I’m a meth user.

I know it sounds dumb that I’m worried about what the dentist will give me, but I’m freaked  I’ll have a reaction. Can I just refuse what he gives me and use my own pain medicine?

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I don’t think it’s dumb that you’re worried about what is going into your body and what kind of contra-indications their can be with what is already there.  I hope you won’t mind me saying that hopefully at some point that will include you worrying about the meth  you’re putting in.

Depending on the the condition of the tooth, the emergency dentist may need to use a topical or local anesthetic to treat it. It’s possible there could be an interaction, and it’s also quite likely that he’ll have a difficult time getting you numb if you’ve been using for a while. He must be told in advance what you’ve taken and when you took it, so he can provide treatment in the safest, most effective manner.

You won’t have to worry about the dentist reporting them to the authorities.  You’ll be relieved to know, that the ADA has encouraged dentists to focus on treatment.  He may recommend a treatment facility to you, but is not likely to turn you in, unless you try to drive home high and put the public at risk.

Please do not self-medicate. Trust in your doctor to handle your case with discretion, and provide you with the best possible care. He needs you to be honest in order to do that.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.