Inhalation sedation is a mixture of gases (nitrous oxide and oxygen) that you breathe in via a nosepiece placed on the nose. This will not cover your mouth. As you lie back and breathe in the mixture you will start to feel more calm and relaxed. It is incredibly safe and effective to overcome mild dental anxiety, gagging and needle phobia. Sometimes it can even make you laugh - hence it is commonly referred to as 'laughing gas'.
Inhalation sedation in adults can be very effective if a 'lighter' sedation is needed depending on how anxious you are. It is common for us to treat adults under inhalation sedation (happy air) for:
Nitrous oxide inhalation sedation provides light conscious sedation. You will still be able to hear the dentist but will feel less worried. It is useful for short procedures or those with mild dental anxieties or severe needle phobias. It is effective for the majority of people and works best in a relaxing environment. You are encouraged to bring headphones to listen to your favourite music and we will do our best to guide you through your treatment in a relaxing unpressured environment. We recommend you do not have anything important planned before or after your appointment so that you can be stress-free on the day
Before having sedation, you will need to attend an assessment visit. During this appointment, the dentist will explain how the sedation works and you will be provided with a leaflet which explains what you need to do before and after your appointment. Read this carefully. It is useful if you practice breathing in and out through your nose with your mouth wide open so that it will be easier for you on the day and you get the maximum benefit from the sedation. If you suffer from a blocked nose or chesty cough leading up to your appointment the sedation will be ineffective so please cancel and rearrange your appointment as soon as possible or contact us for advice.
Once you are comfortable in the dental chair, the dentist will place a nosepiece over your nose which will be secured in place. It requires a tight seal so that you can breathe the gases in without them escaping. As you breathe in the gas you may get a feeling of warmth throughout your body as well as some mild tingling through your body and some lightheadedness. You might feel sleepy or you want to laugh. You will stay awake, able to talk and in control of all your reflexes. Once you are sedated, the dentist will continue to talk to you and reassure you throughout your treatment. If you prefer you can listen to music through headphones to distract you. Your treatment should be easy and relaxing. If you are struggling tell your dentist and they can pause or stop until you are comfortable.
Once the treatment is complete, the nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture will be stopped and replaced with oxygen for at least 2 minutes. You will breathe all of the gas out of your body so there are no lasting effects.
You will quickly start to feel more alert and notice the effects of sedation disappear. Once you are fully recovered the dentist will explain details about what treatment was provided and you will be given all the information you need relating to your aftercare. If you are planning to drive we recommend you wait in the surgery for at least 20 minutes to ensure you feel alert and well to drive.