Nitrous Oxide Sedation


Relaxed & Anxiety Free Dental Treatments

Nitrous oxide is a colorless, slightly sweet gas that is used during dental treatment for relaxation and anxiety relief. When inhaled, it can induce feelings of euphoria and sedation. It also can produce sensations of drowsiness, warmth and tingling in the hands, feet and/or about the mouth. In the dental setting, it will not induce unconsciousness. You will be able to swallow, talk and cough as
needed. You may feel nauseated, dizzy, drowsy or claustrophobic during and after sedation.

Nitrous oxide is administered through a nasal mask. You must be able to breathe through the nose (blocked nasal passages, colds, etc., defeat the idea of using nitrous oxide for relaxation). Avoid eating at least four hours prior to the dental appointment. Avoid caffeinated products before coming in for treatment. Nitrous oxide can cause “stomach butterflies” (nausea), which may result in vomiting. On the day of your appointment, do not take any antidepressants (unless your dentist is aware of them) or other sedatives unless prescribed by your dentist.

Recovery from nitrous oxide sedation is rapid. The gas will be flushed from your system with oxygen. If you feel dizzy after the sedation, remain seated and the sensation should pass in a few minutes. Do not leave the office until your head feels clear, and you are able to function (i.e., walk and drive) safely.

Please let us know if you have any of the following medical conditions, because we may not be able to safely use nitrous oxide: congestive heart failure, chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, chronic asthma, bronchiectasis, pregnancy, hepatitis B or C, tuberculosis, macrocytic anemia, immune diseases, respiratory diseases, middle ear infections, or a history of substance abuse. Also, if you suffer from claustrophobia, you may choose not to use nitrous oxide.

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