Inhalation Sedation

What is inhalation sedation?

Inhalation sedation is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen which you breath in through your nose via a nosepiece. This will have a relaxing effect, which will help you feel less anxious, slightly drowsy and more relaxed for your dental treatment. Inhalation sedation does not make you unconscious and you will remain awake but may feel warm and detached.

What to expect:

It is sometimes necessary to have two appointments. The first appointment will be for an assessment when your dental treatment under sedation will be planned and discussed with you. The dental treatment under sedation will take place at the second and subsequent appointments. It may be possible to have treatment under sedation at the first appointment, your dentist will discuss this with you.

It is important that you let the dentist know your medical history and any medicines that you are taking. If you think you may be pregnant, you need to let the dentist know. You may need to come back to have your treatment at another time. You should let your dentist know if you are breastfeeding.

The dentist will confirm whether you need to restrict what you eat or drink on the day of treatment. If you have any questions or are unclear about having your sedation, then do not hesitate to ask your dentist.

As you receive the gas via a nosepiece, you may get a feeling of warmth throughout your body as well as some mild tingling and light-headedness. You will stay awake and in control of all your reflexes, such as coughing.

Once you are sedated with the gas, the dentist may use local analgesia (pain relief that numbs the site of the dental treatment). Local anaesthetic as a paste is sometimes used to numb the site of the treatment. Any injection that you may need can then be given through this numbed area to reduce the chance of any discomfort.

After the treatment…

You are unlikely to have any side effects, such as feeling sick or headache. At the end of the procedure, the dentist will give you some extra oxygen to make you feel more alert. This will speed up your recovery from the effects of the sedation.

You will be checked by the dentist before you go home. It is not always necessary to have someone with you following this type of simple inhalation sedation. You may be advised not to drive a car, ride a bicycle or operate machinery for up to 2 hours following your treatment.

You will be given information relating to any local analgesia and the dental treatment you have received. The dental team will also advise you about any medicines you may need while recovering from the treatment.