Wednesday January 26, 2005

Just Say N2O

My dental hygienist found a cavity at my recent cleaning :-( I had it filled today.

I do not "do" novacaine. I do not like to be stuck with a red-hot railroad spike, then have my lip be numb for the next four hours. I take nitrous.

Nitrous oxide is a very safe and popular agent still utilized by dentists today. It is much less toxic than alternatives, such as chloroform, with far less risk of explosion than ether. The main use for N2O is usually as a mild sedative and analgesic. It helps to allay anxiety that many patients may have toward dental treatment, and it offers some degree of painkilling ability.

School of Chemistry, University of Bristol Molecule of the Month

I find the painkilling ability to be quite sufficient. It's interesting how nitrous works. It doesn't shut off the sensation (but then, neither does novacaine). What nitrous does is flick a switch in my brain just before things reach the point of "too much". It's always something like "Oh, my, this could be... not that bad. Ohh my... this could really be... not that bad either."

This is not to say that I like to get my teeth filled. I am not a masochist. It's still unpleasant. It's just not... painful. But it's better than the alternative. And with headphones and soft music, the time pases.

(My Dad does it without nitrous or novacaine. Whooooweeee!)

Just Say N2O ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Wed, 26 Jan, 18:26 Pacific