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Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

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Old 08-29-2008, 10:01 AM   #1
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Question Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

Hi All,

I have the dreaded dentist appointment. I break out in a cold sweat and full blown panic attack when I think about it. My question it safe to have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) with pain meds? I called my PM office to ask, but the doc was busy with patients and the nurse didn't think it would be a problem and just tell the dentist what I'm on.

I think it's because I have a really bad gag reflex and I feel like I'm choking to death when they start probing around. Plus, I had a very bad experience at the dentist as a child. Still have nightmares about that! Also, I know of at least 1 cavity (thanks Actiq) that needs to be filled. I HATE THAT FREAKING DRILL!!!!!!

One more thing....I was almost killed today while driving over to my friends house to take care of their cats while they are on vacation. This woman was on her cell phone in a huge SUV (I think it was a happened so fast) going at a high rate of speed and totally crossed over into my lane of traffic. I only had a split second to swerve off the road into the gravel and grass. If this had happened 1 second later, I probably wouldn't be here right now.

Just a little less than 3 feet away from where I was run off the road is a guard rail. I would not have had any where to go and would have been hit head on and pinned up against the guard rail that is over a deep ditch. I would have been crushed. My car is small. The guy behind me stopped and asked if I was ok and looked at my car (no damage, thank God). What really burns me up is that this woman DID NOT EVEN STOP to see if I was ok!!!!!

I was dripping wet with sweat, like I had just got out of the shower. The nice man behind me that stopped said I looked like I was in shock (probably so) and had a death grip on the wheel. He wanted to call the police and EMS, but I said no, there's really no point. She never hit me, just ran me off the road. Thank God he was far enough behind me that he didn't get hit. He didn't get a look at the plate number because he was focusing on me and she was driving so fast.

Anyway....I guess it's not my time yet. My book isn't finished yet! Ok....I need to rest. I'm still so stressed I feel like I'm about to have a heart attack.


Last edited by friendly_one; 10-05-2008 at 07:02 PM.

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Old 08-29-2008, 12:37 PM   #2
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painaway HB User
Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

Aw, gosh Shay, I'm so glad you're alright! What a scary near-fatal accident...and I think you're SO's not your time...the Good Lord's not finished with you yet! Isn't that exciting?

About the dentist, I haven't a clue, lol. I just had to respond about your "incident"!!! Glad you're ok!!!

Old 08-29-2008, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

Thanks, painaway!

It happened around 9:30 this morning and it's now afternoon here and I'm STILL stressed!! I've never been involved in any type of accident or near accident, let alone a near fatal one.


Last edited by friendly_one; 10-05-2008 at 07:03 PM.

Old 08-29-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

Oh Shay - I take nitrous every time and have never had a problem - the nitrous inhaled is so short acting that it is immediatel changed to the metabolytes - soooo get you some laughing gas huggs Aver

Last edited by Aver00; 08-29-2008 at 08:19 PM.

Old 08-30-2008, 06:27 AM   #5
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

Shay, I wasn't sure about the NO and pain meds, but wanted to let you know that I can totally relate to the dentist anxiety. I had a horrid experience about 15 or 20 years ago with a periodontist, and it took me about 4 years just to get back in a regular dentist's chair. I went to this guy for one relatively small issue and he ripped my entire mouth apart. Not pretty.

When we started with our current dentist, I told her that she would be wise to never suggest a periodontist or any other specialty in that realm, and that I might even have to take breaks during a routine cleaning. In the last year, since I've started seeing my psych doc and taking occasional xanax, I haven't been for a cleaning. I really have to go, but I'll definitely need to take something first.

I'm so glad that you are OK after your near-miss. I do truly believe that it isn't your time. You know, my friend, don't ever sell yourself short. You're journey has been an amazing one, and for you to be putting that down in words is such a gift to the world. So, you're dear friend wasn't the only one who had so much to offer.

Good luck at the dentist. Do you have any type of benzo to take before you go? If not, I'm sure your doc can write you a short script for something. I'll be thinking of you and saying a little extra prayer. Many hugs, CMP/MM

Old 08-30-2008, 11:00 AM   #6
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??


Sometimes our stories are so similar.

I had a terrible dentist while in junior high, the guy was a sadist. he would sneak up behind me with the syringe and thrust it in when I wasn't prepared, thinking it would ease the anxiety. What an idiot. What he did accomplish was to make me deathly afraid of dentists and anything they might hold in their hands. Plus, I never let a dentist get behind me. Obviously, I see dentists very, very infrequently. And my dental health has suffered, but I don't care.

About nitrous oxide and your meds - no worries. Shoot, they use nitrous and fentanyl in surgery together all the time, and other opioids too - all during surgical procedures. It's common practice. However, please be careful about taking any mood altering meds if you anticipate getting nitrous, and be certain someone else will be driving you home. Personally, I would not take a depressant before seeing the dentist if nitrous were anticipated.

The summer after I graduated from high school I got my first job as a dishwasher. One evening I worked until closing, around 1am. As I left we were having our first rain of the rainy season in late October. With no rain all summer, the streets get layer after layer of oil accumulating on them, and the first rain makes things really slippery. I was on a 4 lane road headed home, and the traffic was unusually heavy. As I was moving from the right lane to the left lane I felt the car begin to hydroplane. I had a VW bug with bald tires. As the car proceeded to float it began to head into on-coming traffic. Being a relatively new driver I did the absolutely worst thing, I hit the brakes and turned the wheel. I immediately began to spin out of control right into heavy on-coming traffic. Beyond the traffic was a row of duplexes, so if I didn't get hit by a car, I was going to crash hard into the homes. I was convinced I was going to die. Really. I knew it was inevitable. And this strange peace came over me, like everything was OK. I knew I was gonna die, but it was so peaceful. And like they say, I began to see a string of memories from way, way back, things I hadn't remembered for years. So peaceful. Eventually my car came to rest in an orchard a bit down the road. I sat there and shook for so long. The combination of the spinning and the anticipation of dying, and then the memories and the peacefulness was all too much for me - and I just shook. At some point I gathered enough strength to get back on the road and head home.

Sorry for rambling - it's just that we have so much in common. I'm sure you totally understand how I felt and I can understand some of what you felt - although my experience wasn't caused by some jerk, just me.

So go ahead and have the nitrous. I remember when I lived in Woodstock (yes-the real Woodstock), we had a dentist who used nitrous. Bob Dylan and family used the same dentist. One time as I was leaving Dylan was going in with his son. Being the only dentist in 20 miles made for a pretty lucrative practice in the celebrity prone resorts in the Cakskills. My brother an I loved going to that dentist. He'd hook you up and you'd float around the ceiling until he was finished. No fear, not anxiety, just floating. One time I had a little cavity and he didn't bother with novacaine, since it was so little - he just cranked up the nitrous a little. Well, he missed with the drill and put a little port in the side of my cheek - that's when I learned how little analgesia nitrous provides. I went from the ceiling, to the floor and back to the ceiling in one swell foop, no longer floating. He got the message and numbed me up a little.

Here's hoping you have a great day with great pain control.


Old 08-31-2008, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

I am right there with you all on being phobic about the dentist. I had a horrible experience with one who pulled an impacted wisdom tooth with only novicane when I was sixteen, 3.5 hours in the chair with him drilling bone off. Took me years to allow a dentist anywhere near me. Last time I got my teeth cleaned I hadn't been switched to the flexeril which has controlled my muscle spasms much better yet. I asked the hygenist to use the NO for my cleaning, I won't ever do it without again. My ins won't pay for it, but it's worth every penny. It makes it soooo much easier. I wonder why pain mgt docs don't use it for ESI's and so forth. It's easy, short acting, and you don't need an IV, and most people don't have any problems with it.


Old 08-31-2008, 10:51 AM   #8
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

I had something similar happen the day before yesterday. The only difference is that the suburban was in the lane next to me on the freeway. She swerved right into me and I swerved into the guy next to me. Thank God he was on his toes.
It was scary!

And the dentist....the second time I went to the dentist he pulled four teeth without telling me what he was going to do! I was 9!!!
Later after I was married I developed a bad case of tmj(I couldn't open my mouth). I had a sympathetic dentist who didn't know much abut tmj but really helped me pain-wise. I've been to so many dentists since then who assured me they could help my tmj but just caused more pain. I'm in serious need of dental care but.....I'm not brave enough.
undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease

Old 08-31-2008, 03:16 PM   #9
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Re: Nitrous it safe with pain meds??

Tig, Good Lord, why on earth didn't they use IV sedation to pull an impacted wisdom tooth??? DUH!! I never had any wisdom teeth come in.

Mush, Gees, I'm glad you're ok!!! What's with these idiot dentists?? A 9 year old child should have been completely sedated by IV, IMO. I really dislike dentists.....can you tell?

Steve, Are you sure you're not my separated twin?? We really have so much in common. When I read about your sadistic dentist, I had to laugh. Not at you, but the image that came in my mind. I immediately thought of Steve Martin as the sadist dentist in "Little Shop of Horrors". How he kept nipping on the nitrous and torturing his patients. I don't blame you at all for not wanting to ever go back to one.


Last edited by friendly_one; 10-05-2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: add info/spelling

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