Nitrous Oxide Pre & Post Operative Instructions
Instructions Before Nitrous Oxide
Please follow these instructions to prepare for procedure with Nitrous Oxide.
Eating and Fluid Intake
- DO NOT eat or drink anything 2 hours prior to the appointment. This includes water. Nitrous oxide can cause “stomach butterflies” (nausea), which may result in vomiting.
Clothing and Eyewear
- Wear loose clothing that does not restrict breathing and allows a blood pressure cuff to be placed on the skin of your upper arm. Please avoid turtlenecks and dresses.
- DO NOT wear contact lenses. Please wear your glasses instead.
- DO NOT wear fitted jewelry.
Nail polish and Lipstick
- DO NOT wear nail polish, shellac, or acrylic nails. A probe will be placed on your finger to monitor your pulse and oxygen while the nitrous oxide is being administered and does not work well on nail varnish or fake nails.
- Minimal makeup is best for the day of your procedure. Do not wear lipstick or heavy eye makeup.
Perform your usual oral hygiene routine prior to your appointment.
DO NOT ignore a head or chest cold when having a dental procedure completed. Nitrous oxide is administered through a nasal mask. You must be able to breathe through the nose (blocked nasal passages, colds, etc., defeat the idea of using nitrous oxide for relaxation). Call immediately if you have any cold symptoms. A change of appointment may be necessary.
All minors, 15 years old or younger, must have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the consent form.
On the day of your appointment, do not take any antidepressants (unless your dentist is aware of them) or other sedatives unless prescribed by your dentist.
- If you are required to take antibiotic pre-medication before any dental procedure, please take your antibiotics 60 minutes before your appointment with a small sip of water.
- Have an ice pack available at home to apply post operatively.
Instructions during Nitrous Oxide Use
Breathe through the nose only. Notify the doctor if you are experiencing difficulty in breathing through your nose.
No talking is allowed while nitrous oxide is being used. Talking blows nitrous oxide into the room, lessening the desired effect for you, and exposing the dental staff to the nitrous effects.
- You may feel nauseated, dizzy, drowsy or claustrophobic during and after nitrous oxide use.
Instructions following Nitrous Oxide Use
- The gas dissipates from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after administration has stopped and the effects are rapidly ceased.
- Recovery status will be assessed following the procedure. Only fully recovered individuals can be considered for discharge unaccompanied. Should any residual symptoms remain, you must be accompanied by a responsible adult.