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“Happy Gas”/N2O for Anxious Patients

At The Gap Dental Practice, we do everything within our power to make you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible during your visit. If you feel nervous while visiting us for a check-up, we offer nitrous oxide (also known as ‘happy gas’) to help calm your nerves. If required, we also have intravenous sedation available as an option.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative that can help to calm nerves during treatment. The sedative is mixed with oxygen and you inhale it through a small mask that fits over your nose and mouth.

The gas itself is colourless, odourless and is not intended to put you to sleep. Instead, it’s just meant to calm you. When inhaling the nitrous oxide, you will still be able to hear and respond to any questions that your dentist may have for you.

While taking in the nitrous oxide, you may feel a bit of a tingling sensation in your arms and your legs. Some patients also say that their arms and legs feel slightly heavier than usual. However, overall, you should simply feel relaxed and comfortable.

Once the mask is placed over your face, you’ll be asked to breathe normally through your nose. It will then only take a minute or so for you to feel the effects. These will then wear off soon after the mask is removed.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe For Children?

Studies have shown that happy gas is safe for children. In fact, of all the forms of sedation available, nitrous oxide is considered to be the safest for children, as they’re not put to sleep.

However, if you feel like your child might benefit from nitrous oxide, you should contact us in advance and speak to a qualified professional. Our team can talk you through the available options and help you to make the best choice for you and your child.

Are there Side Effects to Using Nitrous Oxide?

Only a very small number of patients suffer from side effects when nitrous oxide is administered, which is why it’s widely considered to be safe. However, potential side effects of nitrous oxide include: 

  • Headaches

  • Shivering

  • Excessive sweating

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fatigue


It’s highly unlikely that you will experience any of these side effects, as our trained professionals will ensure that you’re given the correct amount and do not inhale the gas too quickly. However, if you do feel any of these side effects starting, then mention it to your dentist immediately.

Once your treatment has finished, the nitrous oxide will be turned off. This will then be replaced by oxygen to ensure that you do not get a headache. This will continue while the dentist talks you through their findings and discusses any next steps.


Throughout this couple of minute period, the oxygen will remove the gas from your lungs and you should find yourself feeling alert and awake once more. At this point, you should discuss with your dentist whether it is suitable for you to drive home.


Once you return home, refrain from having a large meal for the next three hours. Eat lightly if necessary.

                                                Book an Appointment with us Today

If you’d like to learn about how nitrous oxide can help you with your dental anxiety, or if you’d like to discuss using it as part of your treatment or the treatment of your child, then please contact us on 07 3300 1277.

Our experienced team members can help advise you on the best course of action for your needs.

Get in touch

5/23 Glen Affric Street, The Gap, Qld 4061

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5/23 Glen Affric Street, The Gap, QLD 4061
Phone 07 3300 1277 

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