I'm the biggest scardy cat around and use nitrous just so I will show up for a cleaning. You are awake, alert, and can follow instructions the whole time. It is just a mask that fits over your nose, you can still breath through your mouth of course. I do come out of the office a tad bit dizzy. I had a lot of work done 2 yrs back and the dentist gave me a sleeping pill the night before and a valium the day of, and I was out for 7hrs worth of work. No IV. You make check into that too.