Some people are so afraid of the dentist that they will suffer through often agonising pain in the hope that it will simply go away and they don't have to "go down there." Dental pain can be some of the worst and it is the body's way of telling you that something needs to be addressed. While the pain can come and go, the underlying problem will need to be fixed at some point. Did you know that you may be able to take advantage of a technique known as "inhalation sedation" to calm you down when you visit? What should you know about this?

How It Works

Dentists today are fully aware of the fear that some patients exhibit when they visit. Part of the job is to reassure and to help alleviate pain. To help them, a solution known as nitrous oxide gas or N2O is available for administration before any procedure. It's perfectly safe, doesn't have any smell and will not irritate you when it is provided. All you need to do is to breathe in the gas that the dental assistant will provide for you and after just a couple of minutes you will feel a great deal more relaxed. Some people describe the feeling as "euphoric."


The dentist and assistant will be very careful to administer the right amount, which is regulated by the machine and there is always a safe mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. You will just get a better sense of well-being and some people also say that they have a tingling or warm sensation at the time.

To enable you to receive the mixture, a special nasal "hood" is attached to a tube, which is connected to the machine. This is placed over your nose and all you need to do is breathe normally. There is no unpleasant smell of plastic or rubber either, as the mask is specially scented with a pleasant aroma such as strawberry or mint.

Adjusting the Levels

The mask is made in such a way that it will deliver the mixture, but also eliminate the exhaust gases that you produce when you breathe out. You're in control at all times and can tell the dentist or the assistant how you feel. If a little more sedation would help you then this may be provided. The big benefit here is that this form of sedation can be specifically regulated both ways, which makes it different to an IV injection, for example.

Clearing Up

Before you know it, the procedure will be over and the gas mask will be removed. After a few minutes of sitting in the chair, you will find that all the effects have disappeared and there is no hangover of any kind. You will be able to drive home very shortly after everything is finished.

Moving Forward

Call your dentist and ask them about this type of solution, while you schedule a visit to take care of that awful pain.