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Nitrous Oxide is a colourless, slightly sweet gas that is used during dental treatment for relaxation, pain and anxiety relief. When inhaled, it can induce feelings of euphoria and sedation. It can also 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.
Nitrous Oxide sedation should not be used during pregnancy.
Nitrous oxide is administered through a nasal mask. You must be able to breathe through the nose (blocked nasal passages, colds etc, will defect the idea of using nitrous oxide for relaxation). Avoid caffeinated products before coming in for treatment. Nitrous oxide may cause “stomach butterflies” (nausea), which may result in vomiting. Please inform the Dentist of your current medications.
Your mask must remain firmly in place during the entire period. Do not breathe through your mouth. Breathe through the nose only. Notify the doctor if you are experiencing difficulty breathing through your nose. You cannot talk while nitrous oxide is being used. Talking blows nitrous oxide into the room air, lessening the desired effect for you and exposing the dental staff to nitrous effects.
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. The sensation usually passes 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.