4 Important Things to Know Before Getting Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Male dental patient lying back with mask for nitrous oxide

Should you undergo nitrous oxide sedation at your next dental appointment? If you have mild to moderate dental fears or anxieties, the answer could very well be yes. However, if you’ve never had this type of sedation before, you may have some concerns. The more you know about nitrous oxide, the easier it is to commit to it with confidence. Here are 4 facts that every patient should keep in mind when it comes to nitrous oxide sedation.

1. Nitrous Oxide Sedation Does Not Put You to Sleep

When many people hear the word “sedation”, they assume that it’s meant to put them to sleep. However, this is not the case with nitrous oxide. While it does help your body relax significantly, it does not make you unconscious. You’ll still be able to respond to any questions or requests that your dentist might have while they’re treating your smile.

2. Little to No Preparation is Needed for Nitrous Oxide Sedation

You might be wondering if there’s anything special you have to do before receiving nitrous oxide sedation. The answer is: not really. At most, it is recommended that you don’t eat a large meal for two hours before your appointment so that you’re less likely to experience nausea. There’s no need to fast for nitrous oxide sedation, and there isn’t any special medication that you’ll need to take before you get to your dentist’s office.

3. Nitrous Oxide Sedation is Safe, but It’s Not for Everyone

Dentists have been using nitrous oxide for a very long time; it is a proven method of sedation and is considered very safe when administered by a trained professional. With that said, it’s not recommended for certain groups of people, such as:

  • Women in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • People with respiratory issues.
  • People who have vitamin B-12 deficiencies.

In short, your overall health needs to be considered before you can receive nitrous oxide sedation, so make sure to tell your dentist about any conditions you have.

4. It Won’t Take Long for the Effects of Nitrous Oxide Sedation to Wear Off

It can take a long time for other types of sedation to completely leave your system. Nitrous oxide, on the other hand, usually wears off within about 3 to 5 minutes after the mask is taken off your nose. This makes nitrous oxide a very convenient choice for patients who want to return to work or run errands after their dental appointment.

The facts above can help give you a better picture of what nitrous oxide sedation is like, but don’t forget that you can always talk to your dentist if you have additional questions.

 About the Author

Dr. Roman Kotlarek studied dentistry at The University of Texas Health and Science Center in San Antonio, where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery. He always listens carefully to the needs and concerns of his patients, and he offers nitrous oxide (along with other types of sedation) to help soothe dental anxiety. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kotlarek at Roman Dental in Houston, visit his website or call (281) 784-3233.