Laughing Gas | Gas and Air | Happy Air

Inhalation Sedation is a safe way of making dental treatment easier for anxious patients and making bigger procedures easier for “good patients”.

Hermitage Dental Ireland Dublin

This page lets you know some information about this and what to expect before and after your visit. Please check the specific advice of your anaesthetist / dentist when using this information.


What is Inhalation Sedation?

Inhalation Sedation or Happy Air is a carefully controlled technique which allows dental treatment to be performed with minimal stress. It is also called Relative Analgesia or Nitrous Oxide Sedation

What drugs are used?

The Happy Air used is a mix of Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide gas. The mixture can be changed to get the best results.

How are the drugs given?

This gas is delivered through a small hood that rests on your nose. The dentist will first try the small hood on your nose and introduce happy air to you, explaining how it will make you feel. Sometimes you might need an extra visit first for you to get used to the technique

What are the advantages of  Inhalation Sedation?

Happy air will make you calm, relaxed and removed from the procedure. It often removes the need for general anaesthetic. In certain medical conditions it can make dental treatment safer. It also helps to control gagging problems as well. After inhalation sedation you should make a full recovery within 30 minutes.

Will I be asleep?

No, you do not go to sleep and you will still be able to talk to us.  The Happy Air might make you feel drowsy. Happy Air is not a general anaesthetic.

Is it safe?

Yes, it is very safe. The technique used preserves your natural reflexes and has a wide safety margin. It is not recommended for pregnant women.

Before Sedation

You should:

Take your medicines at the usual times.

Have a light meal about two hours before your appointment

Bring a responsible adult escort to the hospital with you, they will stay in the hospital and take you home after your treatment

Let us know of any changes to your medical history or medications, or if you are pregnant

Remove any nail varnish from your fingernails as this interferes with our monitoring equipment

Avoid alcohol

If you have a condition that blocks your nose, like a cold, you should let us know immediately so we can reschedule your appointment

After Sedation

You should:

Let your escort take you straight home in a car or taxi

Rest for the day

Take your medicines as usual


You should not:

Travel alone

Drive or ride a bicycle or climb ladders

Operate machinery including cookers

Make important decisions or sign legal documents


This advice is based on the best available information at the time of publishing. The author does not accept responsibility of following this advice without the direction of a dental professional or anaesthetist, which will supersede any advice above. Copyright (C) Caoimhin Mac Giolla Phadraig All rights reserved