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 4 hours prior to the appointment. This includes water.  Nitrous oxide can cause “stomach butterflies” (nausea), which may result in vomiting. 


  • 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.

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 

  • DO NOT leave the office until your head feels clear, and you are able to function (i.e., walk and drive) safely.  If you feel dizzy after the sedation, remain seated and the sensation should pass in a few minutes.