Sedation & Happy Gas

We know that dental visits can be distressing, but we do everything we can to make our patients as comfortable as possible!  We have options available to those who may be particularly nervous or have extensive work that needs to be done.

Nitrous Oxide (Happy Gas)

Nitrous Oxide (also known as “happy gas” or “laughing gas”) is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.  When dispensed in low quantities, is not actually a form of sedation; rather it calms your nerves, making you more mellow.  Nitrous oxide is completely safe, and we always administer oxygen along with it.

Once the nitrous oxide has been shut off, the effects of the gas wear off within 10 minutes.  Patients who use “laughing gas” can drive themselves home.


In our office we use an oral sedation medication.  It will make most people extremely tired, but does not always put people to sleep.  The patient will not remember the procedure at all.  The oral sedation medication we use is light enough that we can still communicate with the patient if needed.


Anyone being sedated for any procedure must have a designated driver.  Patients who have been sedated can not operate a vehicle or other heavy machinery and should not be left alone.  Sedation patients should have someone to assist them when walking and should avoid stairs.

Instructions for Sedation Patients

  • Do NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your appointment.
  • Do NOT self-medicate to “calm your nerves”
    • If you do self-medicate to relax you must disclose that information! Not telling the doctor about medications you have taken is dangerous!
  • Bring a list of any prescribed medications you are taking.
  • Have a driver who can pick you up afterward.
  • Have someone who can stay with you for the rest of the day.
    • Sedation patients should have assistance when walking around for the rest of the day.
  • Avoid stairs.
  • Do not schedule anything else for that day.
    • Chances are you will just want to sleep for the rest of the day!