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Sedation Service

Inhalation Sedation ('Happy Air') for Dental Procedures

It is very common for people of all ages to be a little nervous about having dental treatment. Inhalation sedation, also known as 'happy air', is one of the simplest ways to make the whole process as easy and comfortable as possible.

Inhalation sedation is a light form of sedation. It is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen breathed through a nosepiece. This helps you to feel relaxed and accept dental treatment. Local anaesthetic (injection in the gum) may still be used depending on the treatment needed.

During inhalation sedation you will be aware of the surroundings and able to talk, but it will make you feel more relaxed. Inhalation sedation is NOT a general anaesthetic and it does not make you go to sleep.

What are the advantages?

  • It is a very safe form of sedation with few side effects
  • Recovery from the procedure is quick
  • It will help to make you feel relaxed
  • Both children and adults can have inhalation sedation

How does it make you feel?

  • Relaxed
  • Pleasantly light headed or floating feeling
  • Slightly drowsy but not asleep
  • Slightly warm
  • Tingling in the feet and hands

How quickly does it work?

Inhalation sedation takes a few minutes to become effective and also a few minutes to recover from. At the end of the procedure you will feel back to normal and alert.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham