What’s Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

Nitrous Oxide Sedation, also known as Happy Gas, involves breathing in a blend of two gases, nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask which sits over your nose.

The Benefits:

Nitrous oxide with oxygen raises the pain threshold while giving you a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Therefore, it is often a useful solution for people who may feel nervous or anxious when undergoing a dental procedure.

How safe is it?

Very safe. Nitrous Oxide Sedation is very popular in dentistry. For many this is an ideal solution as it’s fast acting, taking only 3-5 minutes to start taking affect, while also being quickly eliminated from the body once the gas is turned off. Commonly completely eliminated within 5 minutes. The gas can be adjusted by your dentist ensuring you are most comfortable. You will remain fully conscious throughout and can respond to questions or requests.

What about its safety during the current pandemic?

While we have always followed recommended infection control practices for our nitrous oxide equipment, and only ever used single-use nasal hoods, we have now commenced additional measures in line with updated Australian Dental Association recommendations. This includes the use of nasal hoods which allow only one-way flow of gases, a bacterial filter which is replaced after every patient and enhanced infection control reprocessing procedures.

Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation appropriate for you?

You should always discuss with your dentist first to determine if Nitrous Oxide Sedation is appropriate for you. As Nitrous Oxide is administered by a qualifed dental practitioner, you may need your usual dentist to refer you to one of our qualified dentist.

However, Nitrous Oxide Sedation is not recommended for people with the following conditions:

  • Pulmonary disease or a current respiratory infection
  • Ear infections resulting in a blocked middle ear
  • A compromised immune system e.g. cancer patients
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psychiatric disease and who have been prescribed anti-psychotic medications
  • Unable to communicate effectively due to disability or a language barrier

It is also not recommended for people who are:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Under the influence of marijuana or alcohol
  • Very apprehensive

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