Do you have an upcoming dental procedure or oral surgery? You may have questions about the experience ahead of you. In particular, you might be curious about what you will feel during your appointment. Fortunately, sedation options, such as nitrous oxide, can ensure that you experience virtually zero discomfort. But what exactly does nitrous oxide feel like? Will it put you to sleep? Let’s discuss the answers to these intriguing questions.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Nitrous oxide is a gas that a sedation dentist administers through a nose mask. As you breathe it in, it induces feelings of relaxation and well-being. It does so by interfering with processes in your body that create fear and anxiety.
Nitrous oxide is nearly odorless, but in some cases, a pleasant fragrance is added. It is also mixed with an appropriate amount of oxygen to reduce the risk of unpleasant side effects.
What Does Nitrous Oxide Feel Like?
Nitrous oxide makes most patients feel happy, relaxed, and calm. Many report that they experience a sensation of euphoria, and some note that the gas makes them feel tingly. It is also common to experience a floating sensation.
Nitrous oxide is not meant to make you unconscious or “knock you out.” Most people remain alert enough to respond to any questions or directions from their oral surgery team. However, some patients feel so relaxed under its influence that they drift off to sleep. If that happens to you, it should be easy for your oral surgery team to awaken you with gentle stimuli, such as a light shake.
What to Expect After Nitrous Oxide
Following your procedure, your supply of nitrous oxide will be cut off. After a few minutes of breathing regular air, the effects of the sedation should wear off, and you can expect to be alert enough to leap right back into your normal activities. Some patients experience mild side effects from the gas, such as a headache or nausea. However, these issues tend to resolve quite quickly.
Is Nitrous Oxide Right for You?
Since nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that wears off quickly, it is great for individuals with a busy lifestyle who have activities planned after their dental appointment or oral surgery (as long as your procedure was minor enough that your oral surgeon does not recommend that you take a day or more to rest). It is safe for patients of virtually any age. There are only a few groups of people for whom it is not recommended, including pregnant individuals and those with certain allergies or respiratory conditions.
Nitrous oxide won’t put you to sleep, but it will help you feel relaxed enough to breeze through your next oral procedure.
Meet the Practice
Drs. Steve Koo, Thomas Weil, and William Shepard are board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons. They provide dental implant procedures and a range of other services in our Houston office. Nitrous oxide is one of the multiple types of sedation that our team is capable of providing. To learn more about how we can help you feel relaxed and comfortable during treatment, contact us at 713-597-7340.