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Nervous Patients

Relative Analgesia Sedation (Happy Air)

Nitrous oxide and oxygen are inhaled through a small nasal mask. The effects are to reduce anxiety and it also acts as a strong painkiller. Simple procedures can therefore be carried out without injections. The effects completely wear off within a few minutes so you can drive and resume normal activities after treatment. It is recommended for those with mild to moderate anxiety.

Who will sedate me?

The dentist carrying out your treatment, assisted by an appropriate trained dental nurse.

Is it safe?

Very safe. We use it for children and adults from 5 to 95 so long as they are able to understand how it works and how they will feel. Since you are able to speak to the dentist, if at any time you feel the happy air mixture is a bit too strong, we can quickly turn it down and within a few seconds you will feel very relaxed again.

Are there any side effects?

Very few. Occasionally a slight feeling of nausea but this is quite rare.

How is it done?

A mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen is adjusted to suit you. Everyone needs a different mixture to achieve a feeling of warm and cosy relaxation. We use a small soft sterile nosepiece for you to breathe through.

How will I feel?

You will feel very relaxed. Most people feel some of the following sensations:

  • Warm and or heavy arms and legs.
  • A mild tingling in the fingers and toes.
  • A sense of being far away. Voices and music may seem distant.
  • A sense of not caring or minding about being at the dentist.
  • A greatly reduced or eliminated gag reflex.
  • Reduced awareness of procedures such as dental anaesthetics (injections), especially so as we use ‘The Wand’.

Are there any downsides?

Very few. It is not possible to use RA Sedation if:

  • You are in the first 6 months of pregnancy.
  • You cannot normally breathe through your nose.
  • You have a cold on the day of your appointment.

How quickly will I recover?

Very quickly. Usually within 2-3 minutes of the completion of treatment you will be ready to return to the waiting room and can usually leave the practice within 10 minutes. We advise against driving for 30-60 minutes but you can return to work, college or school afterwards and carry on with your normal activities.